Deputy First Minister John Swinney, fellow SNP Perthshire MSP Roseanna Cunningham and SNP MP Pete Wishart are backing a plea by Perth & Kinross Council to have the stone as the centrepiece of a new museum and arts hub to be created in Perth City Hall.
And the group of senior public figures responsible for oversight of the stone announced they were holding a consultation on the proposal.
The stone – an oblong block of red sandstone measuring around 26 inches x 17 inches x 10.5 inches – was the coronation stone for Scottish kings for hundreds of years before being seized by the English in 1296 and installed in Westminster Abbey, where it has continued to be used at coronations, including the Queens in 1953.
But since 1996 – when John Majors Tory government decided to return it to Scotland – it has been housed in the Crown Room at Edinburgh Castle, where it is displayed along with Honours of Scotland – the Crown, the Sceptre and the Sword of State.
Edinburgh Southern Labour MSP Daniel Johnson said the stone and the other regalia should be kept in the Capital – but suggested a loan to Perth could be considered.
I dont think we should be precious about it and there may be some merit in it being on shown in Perth, he said.
But the Stone of Destiny belongs with the Honours of Scotland and we dont want to see them permanently separated.
A loan and a temporary relocation might be acceptable, but I would want to see it back in Edinburgh after that.
It makes sense for people to see them all together in one place and with the large number of people visiting Edinburgh Castle it seems the best place to have them.
With its gothic floor slabs strewn with hay, a manger and farm animals, Christmas Day at Westminster Abbey is a divine setting for the nativity scene, but in 1950 it became the scene for the Yuletide heist of the Stone of Scone, which ignited a furious debate about its permanent home.
Campaigners now want the slab of red sandstone, a symbol of Scottish statehood, to be given a final home in Perthshire, from where it is believed to have been quarried.
The Stone of Destiny, or the Lia Fail, as it is also known was used for centuries at the coronation of Scottish monarchs before it was plundered and taken to London as a trophy of war by Edward I in 1296. He had it…
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