Provost welcomes Declaration’s UNESCO status

JON  SAVAGE PHOTOGRAPHY''07762 580971'Copyright Jon Savage
JON SAVAGE PHOTOGRAPHY''07762 580971'Copyright Jon Savage

Angus Provost Helen Oswald has expressed delight at UNESCO’s special recognition of the Declaration of Arbroath’s global significance.

UNESCO has included the Declaration of Arbroath in its UK ‘Memory of the World’ register. The original document is in the keeping of National Records of Scotland.

The Declaration is a letter to the Pope, written at Arbroath Abbey in 1320, and signed by the Scottish barons pledging their resistance to English rule.

It has held great significance throughout the centuries and still does today, not just for Arbroath, Angus and the nation, but for the rest of the UK and the wider world.

Provost Helen Oswald said: “This is great news for Arbroath and great news for Angus – the Birthplace of Scotland.

“The Declaration of Arbroath is, without doubt, the most famous and, very likely, the most important document in Scotland’s history. It is entirely fitting that it is afforded this special status by the United Nations.

“Drafted in Arbroath Abbey almost 700 years ago, the Declaration of Independence has been a document of global significance through the ages and remains just so. It’s inclusion in UNESCO’s UK Memory of the World is entirely appropriate and will enhance this significant register.

“Our county boasts a very rich history, as well as an exciting present and future. We hope international recognition of this kind will encourage many more people to visit Angus to experience it for themselves.”

Elizabeth Oxborrow-Cowan, Chair of UK Committee, UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, added: “I am delighted to welcome the Declaration of Arbroath onto the UK Memory of the World Register and I congratulate the National Records of Scotland on this achievement.

“This famous document rightly deserves the accolade of outstanding significance to the UK.

“It is a wonderful example of our remarkable documentary heritage both in Scotland and across the UK. I urge people to go out and discover this heritage for themselves.”