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Robert the Bruce statue returned to Bannockburn battle site

image captionThe statue was restored to mark the Battle of Bannockburn 700th anniversary

Restoration work to repair a weather-beaten statue of Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn site, near Stirling, has been completed.

The monument, which depicts an axe-wielding Bruce on his war horse, was originally cast in bronze but had become weathered and was turning green.

Conservationists have now cleaned and repaired it in preparation for next year's 700th anniversary of the battle.

The statue was originally designed by Charles d'Orville Pilkington Jackson.

It was created using the actual measurements of Bruce's skull, re-discovered at Dunfermline Abbey in 1818, and was first unveiled by the Queen in 1964.

The return of the statue was welcomed by a descendant of King Robert, the Earl of Elgin, who is the head of the Bruce family.

He said: "We should not forget the message which King Robert gave at his enthronement at Scone 700 years ago.

"He told his followers to go out and spread friendship over the land.

"Next year, I trust that all who come here to see the monument and encounter the information in the new visitor centre will reflect on his magnanimity."

image captionThe statue had become weather-beaten and was turning green before its restoration

Work to clean, repair and protect the statue was commissioned in 2012 as part of the Battle of Bannockburn project.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "The Robert the Bruce statue is an iconic part of the Bannockburn site, and a poignant reminder of the battle."

She added: "The statue has been painstakingly conserved to return it to its original condition so it can once again be appreciated by both Scots and visitors from around the world."

The National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland are working to transform the site where Robert the Bruce defeated the English army in 1314.

Various conservation projects are being carried out, with construction of a new visitor centre and landscaping of the area under way.

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