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Backing for Photo Museum

It has been talked about for many years, with very little progress being made, but there is renewed hope that a national photography centre at the former Royal High School at Calton Hill will become a reality. The former First Minister, Jack McConnell, refused to support the project, with the then Executive insisting that sites other than the High School be considered. There was more than a suspicion that this was because the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) had long campaigned for a Scottish Parliament in that building. Now, that the SNP form the current Executive, and even Edinburgh-born Sir Sean Connery is understood to be lobbying First Minister Alex Salmond and Culture Minister Linda Fabiani to support it. This week, the leader of the new Edinburgh City Council pledged to back a bid to persuade the Scottish Executive to provide 20 million for the project. Edinburgh has had a long history of involvement with photography going back to the days of David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson. They produced some of the finest photographic portraits of the mid-19th century at a time when photography was in its infancy.The pioneer photographers worked near Calton Hill in the 1840s, so the site for the new museum is very appropriate. One of Scotland's most important archive of photographs, held by St Andrews University, and a collection by art impresario Richard de Marco, covering much of the 20th century, would be available as the basis for a Scottish photo museum.


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