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Why aren’t the Lewis Chessmen returning permanently

Although some of the Lewis Chessmen are being loaned to Scotland [1], many people feel that they should be returned on a more long term arrangement.

From:
Daily Telegraph [2]

Letters
Time to repatriate the Scottish chessmen
The Lewis Chessmen belong in Scotland, not England
Published: 12:01AM BST 16 Oct 2009

SIR – While it is fantastic to see 24 of the collection of 82 Lewis Chessmen go on tour in Scotland (report, October 2), it is now time for the return of all the 12th-century chessmen to the Western Isles.

The pieces, crafted from walrus ivory and whales’ teeth, were unearthed in 1831. Of the 93 chessmen, only 11 are in Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland, while 82 are in the British Museum in London. It is simply not good enough that they are occasionally lent back to the Western Isles. Ownership should pass to the people of these Isles, where they were found, and where they should be put on permanent display.

Alex Orr
Edinburgh