The Stone of Destiny.
The Stone of Destiny.

Stone of Destiny: Fragment kept by SNP ‘genuine beyond reasonable doubt’

A fragment of rock which was kept at SNP headquarters for years and was described as a missing part of the Stone of Destiny is genuine, experts have concluded.

The chip had been held in storage by the SNP after being gifted to former First Minister Alex Salmond in 2008 by the son of one of the pro-independence students who famously stole the Stone in 1950.

It is believed the chip had been kept in a cupboard at SNP HQ since 2008, but until now its provenance had not been conclusively established.

Historic Environment Scotland carried out a series of scientific tests on it on behalf of the Commissioners for the Safeguarding of the Regalia – who are responsible for the preservation of certain important historic items – and has concluded the fragment is genuine ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

The revelation could pave the way for the part to be reunited with the ancient Stone of Scone at its new home in Perth.

The existence of the fragment was revealed in Scottish Government cabinet records which were published at the start of this year.

Earlier this year, the SNP requested the small piece of stone be reunited with the rest of the block at Perth Museum, which received the Stone of Destiny as part of a £27m redevelopment.

A decision on its future home, and whether it will be displayed alongside the Stone of Destiny at Perth Museum, will be taken at a later date.

‘On behalf of the Commissioners for the Safeguarding of the Regalia, Historic Environment Scotland has now completed a series of scientific tests on the fragment that has been in the possession of the SNP,’ a report said.

‘These have concluded that, from a scientific perspective, there is a high degree of certainty that it was taken from the Stone.

‘This analysis, together with the family connection of the person who gifted the fragment in 2008, indicates that it is beyond any reasonable doubt that the fragment is genuine.’

The history

The Stone of Destiny is regarded as one of Scotland’s most important cultural artefacts

It was used as the coronation location for Scottish kings until it was seized and taken to Westminster Abbey by King Edward I of England in 1296.

In 1950, four students broke into Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day and stole the stone so they could repatriate it to Scotland. But the raid led to the sandstone block splitting in two.


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