MACNEIL HAILS HOMECOMING OF LEWIS CHESSMEN

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil has welcomed news that some of the Lewis Chessmen are to return home to Lewis on permanent display in 2014 - the year of 'Scottish Homecoming'.

Mr MacNeil has been at the forefront of the campaign for the return of Chessmen to Lewis and today’s news comes almost two years to the day since Mr MacNeil met with officials at the British Museum on securing a return of the Chessmen to Lewis.

Mr MacNeil said:

“I am delighted by confirmation that at least some of the Lewis Chessmen are to return. This is great news for the Hebrides, and the timing could not be better than Scotland’s year of Homecoming.

“This has been a long campaign and the potential return was first muted when I met with the British Museum almost two years ago. It is testament to the efforts of the community and campaigners that these artefacts are coming home for permanent display.

“To say I am more than pleased with this announcement would be an understatement in the extreme.  It is tremendous to see when political intentions and campaigns bear fruit.

“I am, in particular, grateful to the Comhairle for providing secure premises to house the chessmen, which was a concern.

“I always hoped that the chessmen would be a tourist attraction with economic benefits for the island.”