World Heritage sites celebration

Scotland’s five world heritage sites will come together for the first time in a series of interactive events to mark World Heritage Day.

The day will see people across Scotland celebrate each of the country’s world heritage sites – St Kilda, Edinburgh Old and New Town, New Lanark, Heart of Neolithic Orkney and The Antonine Wall.

The project, entitled, ‘Shadows of our Ancestors’, involves communities representing each of the World Heritage sites who will take part in creative workshops using different media to explore the theme of cultural identity in the run up to World Heritage Day.

The workshops will culminate in an exciting event at each world heritage site on Monday, April 18th.

In Harris, the heritage of St Kilda will be celebrated in a promenade performance through Tarbert’s Main Street with storytellers Ian Stephen, Maggie Smith and pupils from the Sir E Scott School. Along the route will be a series of light box and video installations set in the windows of local residents and shops. The performance, featuring stories in English and Gaelic, will highlight the wealth of tales St Kilda’s history reveals.

The event will start and finish in the Hotel Hebrides, where the Ian Angus Ceilidh Band will be also be performing.

‘Shadows of our Ancestors’ will be supported through the use of social media, with each event and an overview of the project displayed on a website,

Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “World Heritage Day is a fantastic opportunity for people to come together to celebrate our rich heritage and cultural diversity.

“These events are designed to raise awareness of the importance of these truly valuable and unique sites and to recognise each one’s contribution to both their communities and Scotland’s story as a whole.

“But there is also a wider issue of recognising the vulnerability of some of these sites and the ongoing dedication required to protect and conserve them for future generations.”

The initiative is being run by Historic Scotland in partnership with each of the World Heritage Sites.

Sue Mitchell, Head of Education for Historic Scotland said; “It’s very exciting to be involved in this project.

“It provides a fantastic opportunity for people to become involved in their local heritage and help to interpret it in a way that can be enjoyed by both the rest of their community and visitors alike.

“We are working closely with Red Field Arts – a community interest company, to deliver the project in conjunction with schools and communities across the country, to provide truly striking interpretation of all the different world heritage sites

“We want as many people as possible to come down to their local site on the 18th to join in the celebrations as well as visiting the website to find out about all the different activities happening across Scotland.”

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