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Hypocricy in Scotland over the return of cultural treasures

Scotland regularly makes demands for the Lewis Chessmen [1] to be returned from the British Museum – to Edinburgh. It tends to take a different approach though to cases that are entirely within the country – it becomes a cases that any location is good enough for the artefact, as long as it is in Scotland.

Shetland News [2]

Treasure hypocrisy
Friday, 20 April 2012 | Written by Shetland News

SHETLAND MSP Tavish Scott has accused the Scottish government of hypocrisy over the St Ninian’s Isle treasure.

During Parliamentary Question Time at Holyrood, Mr Scott quizzed culture secretary Fiona Hyslop on the SNP government’s call for the Lewis Chessmen to be returned to the western isles from the British Museum.

At the same time the government is blocking the return of the St Ninian’s Isle treasure from being returned to Shetland Museum from the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

“Despite having an award winning museum in Shetland it seems that ‘rules is rules’, except when they’re not,” Mr Scott said.

“It is my view that interesting and important artefacts should be on display all around Scotland, encouraging visitors to travel and explore. We should be lending Edinburgh the treasures found in Shetland, not the other way around.

“It seems that the SNP have one approach when a London Museum has something Scottish, but completely the opposite approach when Edinburgh holds onto Shetland’s treasure.”