The Stone of Destiny to be moved to Perth from its current home in Edinburgh Castle

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that the Stone of Destiny is to be relocated to Perth from Edinburgh Castle where it is currently displayed alongside the Scottish Crown Jewels.

His Royal Highness the Duke of York hands over the Royal Warrant for safe-keeping of the Stone of Destiny, in the Great Hall in Edinburgh Castle

Perth and Kinross Council and Culture Perth and Kinross made a submission to the Commissioners last year to relocate the Stone of Destiny to Perth.

Following a public consultation the Commissioners advised Her Majesty that it should be relocated.

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The announcement made in the Scottish Parliament earlier today was welcomed by Charles Kinnoull, Chair of the Board at Culture Perth and Kinross, he said: “What wonderful Christmas news for Perth. The new museum located at Perth City Hall will be an outstanding home for this precious piece of the fibre of the history of our area and the nation.

The Stone of Scone - the Scottish Stone of Destiny - missing from Westminster Abbey since Christmas Day, 1950 - being removed from Abroath Abbey, Forfarshire, Scotland after being handed to the Custodian of the Abbey James Wiseheart by Scottish Nationalists

"The effort required to get here has been immense, led by the Council, uniting many with a common aim, and I thank and congratulate all involved.”

The stone will be moved in 2024 and will become the centrepiece of the Perth City Hall refurbishment project and it is expected that it could attract an extra 163,000 visitors a year.

The stone is seen as a sacred object and was used for centuries in the inauguration of Scotland’s kings.

Since being seized and taken to Westminster in 1226, it has been used in the coronation ceremonies of the monarchs of Great Britain.

It was officially returned to Scotland in 1996 and currently is on display in the Crown Room in Edinburgh Castle.

Plans will be in place to ensure the stone can be returned to Westminster Abbey for future coronations.

The First Minister said: “The Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone, forms an important part of the story of Scotland.

“Following due consideration the Commissioners were satisfied that the proposals for Perth City Hall gave full and proper regard to the need to ensure the security and conservation of the Stone, its accessibility to the general public and that it would be displayed in a manner in keeping with such an important cultural artefact

“The Commissioners also concluded that there would be considerable merit in relocating the Stone to assist with the ongoing regeneration of Perth.”

Historic Environment Scotland have been responsible for the care of the Stone since it returned to Scotland and have submitted a counter bid to keep the stone where it is in Edinburgh Castle.

Helen Smout, Chief Executive at Culture Perth and Kinross expressed her delight at the news: “This is excellent news and the result of a lot of work by many people over a considerable time. To bring this iconic object to Perth and tell its story in the context of a brand-new museum is so exciting for everyone involved. In what has been a challenging year, this news provides further hope for a bright, successful future for our region.”

Council leader Murray Lyle said: “I’m hugely proud and excited that The Stone of Destiny will be moving to Perth.

“Our new £26.5 million, world-class museum is the perfect place to display this historically significant object, which represents both Perth’s history as the original capital of Scotland and our future as a vibrant new city.”

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