Leader: Hands off Edinburgh Castle

IT’S inter-city collaboration, but not as we know it. Edinburgh Castle may be used as an advertising hoarding board, with a giant London 2012 Olympic Games logo on its ramparts. The Games organisers have lodged plans for the insignia to be attached to the north wall of the castle to promote the event as “inclusive and nation-wide”.

But the Games, of course, are not quite as nation-wide as the promoters suggest. A spokesman makes much of “a really strong programme of cultural celebration alongside the games in Scotland”, referring to the torch relay and some women’s football matches at Hampden Park. It is not clear what cultural celebration will be stronger than the Edinburgh Festivals which will be running at the same time and may see a drop in numbers.

City councillors are rightly uneasy about the wisdom of promoting a major sports event that would lure visitors to a rival city, while heritage campaigners say the Olympic Games organisers would never have been allowed to use Windsor Castle as a billboard.

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There is also the precedent-setting nature of such advertising – is the Castle Rock now up for grabs by Coke, McDonalds or Formula One racing? Lord Coe doesn’t need to desecrate our landmarks to make sure his Games are a triumph.