Edinburgh’s copy of the Parthenon  is going to undergo restoration. It is interesting, that what starts as a mere copy can become a monument important enough to be seen as an entity to be restored in its own right – what started as a clone attains an identity of its own. The works will be on a somewhat smaller scale though the Acropolis restoration  in Athens.
‘Athens of the North’ icon to undergo a Greek revival
Published Date: 01 November 2008
By CHRIS MARSHALL
IT’S the iconic monument which helped cement Edinburgh’s reputation as the “Athens of the North” and looms large over the city’s skyline.
Now the National Monument on Calton Hill is to get a Greek revival as part of a £1 million project to breath new life into the Capital’s most prized monuments.
Work has begun on restoring the edifice under a joint initiative by charity Edinburgh World Heritage and the city council.
Those behind the project said the biggest challenge is to move one of the enormous stone lintels at the top of the monument, which over time has shifted out of position. The lintel will be lifted back into place using a crane and new lime mortar will be added.
The top of the monument will also be investigated to see if more stonework repairs are needed.
Areas of crumbling mortar on the base of the monument need to be replaced with new lime mortar and weeds and bushes will be cleared away from the base of the stonework.
Adam Wilkinson, director of Edinburgh World Heritage, said: “The National Monument can rightly claim to be among the most talismanic symbols of Scotland and a key to understanding Edinburgh as the ‘Athens of the North’.
“Calton Hill is one of the most fantastic landscapes of monuments in Europe and is a principal part of the World Heritage Site.”
Begun in August 1822, the monument was designed by renowned architects Charles Cockerell and William Playfair and was modelled on the Parthenon in Athens.
It was intended to commemorate Scottish servicemen who died in the Napoleonic War and funds for its construction were raised by a public appeal.
The monument drew on ideas from the classical world which had been central to the Scottish Enlightenment of the previous century, producing figures such as Adam Smith, David Hume and Sir Walter Scott.
Some of the largest pieces of stone ever taken from the Craigleith Quarry in Blackhall were incorporated in its design, but it later gained the alternative name of “Edinburgh’s Disgrace” after the money for construction ran out.
City culture leader Deidre Brock said: “This vital work will restore and safeguard the future of one of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks.
“The stones of the National Monument are so huge that it’s hard to imagine that they could move, so it will be a sight worth seeing when the crane comes to carry out the first major repairs to the monument.”
The cost of the works is expected to be around £78,000 and will be completed by December.
The so-called Twelve Monuments project has already seen work completed at the Black Watch Memorial on the Mound, the Buccleuch Memorial in Parliament Square, the Melville Monument in St Andrew Square and the Bow Well in the Grassmarket.
Do you think £80,000 should be spent on repairing the National Monument?
Katherine Hegarty , 31, sales designer from Forrester Park Avenue: “When you see such huge sums like that it makes you a bit annoyed that day to day things can’t be sorted out.”
David Poole, 77, retired engineer, Mayfield Road: “I think they’ve got to do something with it.There’s always the danger of bits falling off.”
Sheila Fraser, 46, publican from Dalkeith: “I think it’s good to keep these things going.”
* Last Updated: 01 November 2008 12:45 PM
* Source: Edinburgh Evening News
* Location: Edinburgh
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EDINBURGH’S UNFINISHED PARTHENON UNDERGOES RESTORATION
By Tara Booth 03/11/2008
Work has begun on restoring Edinburgh’s Parthenon, the National Monument on Calton Hill.
The project is part of the Twelve Monuments Project, a joint initiative of Edinburgh World Heritage and the City of Edinburgh Council, which is restoring some of the city’s famous statues and monuments.
Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage, said: “The National Monument can rightly claim to be amongst the most talismanic symbols of Scotland and a key to understanding Edinburgh as ‘the Athens of the North’.”
“Carlton Hill is one of the most fantastic landscapes of monuments in Europe and is a principle part of the World Heritage Site.”
The National Monument was intended to commemorate Scottish servicemen who died in the Napoleonic War, and funds for its construction were raised by a public appeal. Work started in August 1822 but only twelve columns were ever completed.
The restoration work will see one of the stone lintels at the top of the monument moved back into its rightful place, while crumbling mortar at the base of the monument will be replaced.
The work is expected to cost around £78,000 and is due to be completed in December 2008.