Bid lodged to move Scotland's Stone of Destiny to Perth
A consultation, due to run for six weeks, will consider a bid from Perth and Kinross Council.
A bid has been lodged to move Scotland's Stone of Destiny to Perth.
The historic block, held at Edinburgh Castle, was taken from Scotland by King Edward the First in 1296.
It was kept in Westminster Abbey until 1996 when it was officially returned home.
A consultation will now consider a bid from Perth and Kinross Council for the stone to form the centrepiece of the city hall.
John Swinney MSP, Roseanna Cunningham MSP and Pete Wishart MP are calling for its return.
The attraction would be on display at the Stone Pavillion, with visitors shown the stone through a short film focusing on how Scotland was born from the Perthshire landscape.
Visitors will then see the stone displayed in a custom-designed secure case.
John Swinney MSP said: "I am grateful that the commissioners are willing to consider the very compelling case for returning the Stone of Destiny to Perthshire.
"The Stone of Destiny is widely regarded to have been quarried from Perthshire stone, and was used for the coronation of the Kings of Scotland at Scone for many years. It is therefore highly appropriate that the stone should return to Perthshire.
"The arguments for returning the stone to Perthshire are not just historical, but also logistical.
"Perth is within 90 minutes travel time for over 70% of Scotland's population, and is therefore ideally located to capitalise on the desire of both Scots and tourists to visit the stone.
"When the stone was proposed to be moved from Westminster to Edinburgh Castle in 1996, I campaigned for its return to Perthshire.
"I am therefore delighted that a significant step has been taken towards achieving this goal, and I am sure that the entire region will get behind this campaign."
'I am grateful that the commissioners are willing to consider the very compelling case for returning the Stone of Destiny to Perthshire.'John Swinney MSP
Pete Wishart MP added: "It is welcome news that consideration is now being given to the Stone of Destiny returning to its ancestral home at the heart of Scotland.
"I have long supported and championed the claim that Perthshire is the right location for this critically important historical artefact.
"I will be submitting my own view to the consultation strongly in favour of Perthshire's claim and would encourage those like-minded to do the same."