Stonehenge should display fake human remains, druid says

Stonehenge English Heritage plans to display the remains at the new Stonehenge visitor centre

Related Stories

A druid leader is calling for fake, rather than real, human remains to be put on display at Stonehenge.

In an open letter, King Arthur Pendragon criticised English Heritage for the "macabre manner" it plans to display "ancestral remains".

In 2011, he lost a High Court bid to have bones, found in 2008, reburied.

English Heritage said the remains were not from the 2008 excavation and their "presentation, treatment and storage" would follow strict UK guidelines.

The cremated remains of more than 40 bodies, thought to be at least 5,000 years old, were removed from a burial site at the ancient stone circle five years ago.

Start Quote

[It provides] visitors with a direct connection to the people who lived and worked there”

End Quote English Heritage

According to Mr Pendragon, the bones were the remains of members of the "royal line" or "priest caste" who could have been the "founding fathers of this great nation".

"There are cremated remains and a full skeleton from one of the barrows, which they're planning to put on display," he said.

"This is not only out of step with the feelings of many of the peoples and groups that I represent but is surely against the driving cultural principles of a Unesco World Heritage Site."

The £27m scheme to build a new visitor centre and close the road alongside the ancient monument, is due to be completed by the end of the year.

Mr Pendragon said visitors would be "appalled" and unless "models and replicas" were used he could "not rule out non-violent direct action against the proposals".

'Visitors expect remains'

But a spokeswoman for English Heritage said visitor research showed the "vast majority of museum visitors are comfortable with, and often expect to see, human remains".

"The remains of three human burials found in the landscape will be displayed with ample explanation along with archaeological objects, providing visitors with a direct connection to the people who lived and worked there," she said.

"As such, we believe they have a rightful place in the exhibition and their presentation, treatment and storage will follow strict guidelines set out by the UK government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Wiltshire

Weather

Swindon

19 °C 13 °C

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world?

    Think you’re a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s Geoguessr

Programmes

  • Click reporter Jen Copestake looks at a smart mirrorClick Watch

    From the mirror offering beauty advice to next gen robot vacuums - the connected home of the future

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.