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Scotland's five world heritage sites come together to celebrate World Heritage Day

21 March 2011

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 – Edinburgh Old and New Town, New Lanark, Heart of Neolithic Orkney, The Antonine Wall and St. Kilda.

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 the 18th April. For example, at the Antonine Wall in the grounds of Callendar House, Falkirk, there will be an  art installation and soundscape to recreate the effect of a roman encampment, whilst a storywalk along Tarbert’s Main Street on the Isle of Harris will display a series of light box and video installations, showing images of St Kilda, set in the windows of both local shops and residents homes.

‘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;

“Its 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.”

To find out more about what is happening in your area please visit

Notes for editors

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

For further information

Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858