A bid has been made for UNESCO World Heritage status for Mousa, Old Scatness and Jarlshof under the banner of “The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland”, it emerged today.
The sites have been put forward along with five other locations across Scotland and 32 from the UK and overseas territories and Crown dependencies and will now be assessed by an independent expert panel.
The experts will choose which of the sites – they also include Arbroath Abbey, the Glasgow buildings of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Flow Country, the Forth Bridge and St Andrews medieval burgh and links – to put forward to UNESCO next year for consideration.
The winners will join the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the Statue of Liberty, the Great Pyramids and Red Square as well as several sites around Scotland – St Kilda, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, Heart of Orkney and New Lanark – on the list.
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: “All these sites have something special that draws people to them and they are recognisable across the world. I am delighted that so many of Scotland’s attractions have stepped forward and answered the UK government’s call for world heritage status.
“Scotland has a rich history that we should all be proud to celebrate. We have a world class heritage which contributes heavily both to the Scottish economy as well as to the local economies.
“To be successful in a UNESCO bid would be a great boost to Scotland’s economy and very welcome as we move forward from the recession and begin to rebuild our economy.”