Castle bosses veto Olympic rings plans

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If the plans had gone ahead the rings would have been visible across the city

HISTORIC Scotland has banned Games organisers from hanging the Olympic rings from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.

The guardians of Scotland’s ancient monuments claim the scheme to display the famous logo would have an impact on the “successful operation” of the castle.

But bosses from the government agency say there are other potential “suitable sites” available in Edinburgh for the emblem.

The decision by Historic Scotland chiefs follows claims the agency was consulted before the plans were tabled with Edinburgh Council earlier this month.

But a spokesman said: “Historic Scotland has taken the decision not to permit the Olympic Rings to be displayed on the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.

“Following careful consideration it is clear that the proposal would not be suitable for the successful operation of Scotland’s most popular heritage attraction.

Consultation

“It may well be that there are other more suitable sites in Edinburgh, and the Scottish Government and agencies will work with London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) and The City Edinburgh of Council to do what we can to assist with the consideration of alternatives.”

The spokesman said Historic Scotland “fully” supported the Olympic Games.

Organisers of the £200,000 project to display the 60ft by 27ft logo on the north west rampart of the castle wall said Historic Scotland was consulted before plans were lodged for the scheme.

The Scottish Government and Edinburgh City Council were also asked their views, it was claimed.

A spokesman for Westminster’s Department of Media, Culture and Sport, said it was “agreed in consultation with the Scottish Government, Historic Scotland, Edinburgh Council and local stakeholders that the castle was the preferred location”.

Other locations, aside from Edinburgh Castle, were considered in the National Galleries of Scotland complex, the spokesman added.

Papers lodged with Edinburgh Council say LOCOG wanted permission to hang the sign for nine months from the historic structure.

The sign would have been visible from Princes Street and the north of the city if the plans won approval.

The cost was expected to be met by the Government Olympic Executive, rather then Scottish tax payers.

Edinburgh was the first city outside London to be invited to display the emblem.

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