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Via Twitter, our attention was recently drawn to a project that looks to be of interest, primarily to those in the north of the UK, but also to anyone with an interest in the cultural overlap between Britain and Scandinavia.

The NATUR: North Atlantic Tales project is:

looking for people, projects and institutions who would be interested in working with an artist from overseas and who have stories to tell that connect Northern English and Scottish cultural heritage with any of Iceland/Norway/Denmark (and vice versa) including:

  • Professional museums and archives
  • Personal collections and archives
  • Music, moving image and photography collections (both catalogued and hoarded)
  • Societies, groups and communities that can trace those connections
  • Researchers working across our partnering countries
  • Academics and academic departments connecting our partnering countries
  • Personal Testimony

It seems to us to be a worthwhile project, and the highlighted item above could well be a chance for our metal detecting friends (responsible or otherwise) to share some of the knowledge of what they’ve found or otherwise obtained. From our own perspective, we’re thinking primarily of ‘Viking’ related materials but the project’s scope seems to far beyond just the physical artefact connections:

The first NATUR project will broadly interrogate 7 themes through the archives of each country that shaped and continue to forge a shared Northern identity – folklore and language, merchants, fisheries, industrialisation, conflict, oil, and women’s history.

Cuerdale hoard viking silver british museum

So if you have any collections or other input which may fit the scope of the project, why not contact them through their website and offer to share your knowledge?

Our recent highlighting of jarring proposals for Clifford’s tower in York prompted comments pointing out that wasn’t the only case…..

What about Norwich Castle…..

And Tintagel Castle…..

And Harlech Castle….

Note the adequacy and seemliness of the existing (lower) bridge at Tintagel and the jarring modernity of the proposed new one (which has a gimmicky gap in the middle for goodness sake!) And note the startling unseemliness of the new bridge at Harlech. Lest anyone doubt it, look how Harlech looked when it had a less self-important bridge ….

.

So why is it happening? Why are ultra modern features being imposed upon monuments from another age? English Heritage/Historic England’s Conservation Principles acknowledge that aesthetic values “may be amenable to restoration and enhancement” but that’s hardly an invitation to impose change so radical that it will shock and be regretted forever. Plus, there’s a nagging suspicion that sometimes the change is about a quango saying, Ozymandias-like, “look at me, this is my legacy”. Does that apply at Stonehenge?

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