Don't twist Jacobite showcase for your own ends, SNP is told

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A MAJOR exhibition charting the history of the Jacobites is to go on show at the Scottish Parliament featuring rare and evocative exhibits from the 18th century rebellion.

Holyrood will host the Rebels with a Cause: The Jacobites and the Global Imagination exhibition which tells the dramatic story of the movement dedicated to the restoration of the House of Stuart to the Scottish throne.

Artefacts on show include a Jacobite recruitment slip and songbook, a letter written by Bonnie Prince Charlie while in exile and a collection of comics chronicling the adventures of the Scottish folk hero Rob Roy.

However, the event, which will run between 27 October and 8 January, has sparked a political row with a leading Tory MSP warning the SNP not to use the exhibition to "misrepresent Scottish history" and for "political gain".

North east Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said: "It's important that this very important period of Scottish history is properly represented and not abused by Scottish nationalists, some of who choose to misrepresent certain periods and events.

"The Jacobite rebellion was a key period in Scottish history and it should be treated with respect. Many of those who campaign for independence will try to paint events like the Battle of Culloden of 1745 as a Scottish versus England battle, when in fact it was a battle between two Royal households.

"I would urge MSPs of all parties to respect Scottish history by not using what will be an excellent exhibition for political gain."

The exhibits on show include rarely seen and internationally significant material from the University of Aberdeen, which is curating the project with the Scottish Parliament.

Part of the exhibition will also look at less well known parts of the Jacobite story and how some of the rebels fled to the exiled courts of Paris and Rome for sanctuary, while other went as far afield as North America and India.

SNP Aberdeen North MSP Brian Adam called on schools, community groups and others to visit the free event, but hit out at Tory MSP Mr Johnstone for his comments.

Mr Adam said: "We're living in the 21st century, but the Tories by making comments like this show they are stuck in the 18th century. People should not take any notice of the Tories and should instead come along and make the most of this exhibition."