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Rune Stone at Brodgar vandalised

The damaged stone at the Ring of Brodgar. (Crown Copyright: Historic Scotland)
The damaged stone at the Ring of Brodgar.
(Crown Copyright: Historic Scotland)

An Orkney tour guide has spoken of his disgust at discovering one of the stones at the Ring of Brodgar has been vandalised this week, by someone scratching initials and a date on one of the stones, in an area close to where Viking runes are engraved.

Rod Richmond was on a visit to the ring on Thursday evening when he discovered the initials ‘AA’ and the year ‘2015’ had been scratched into the stone.

He said that he informed the police and Historic Scotland of the incident. He also informed other tour guides in Orkney in the hope that the time the vandalism occurred can be pinpointed. At the moment it is thought to have taken place between 2.30pm on Monday and 5pm on Thursday.

He said that he was “furious and disgusted” that someone would do such an act, and added that he very much doubted that it would be a local, given that the site is part of Orkney’s cultural heritage.

This latest incident has occurred almost a year to the day since one of the stones was found damaged, after someone scratched a noughts and crosses design on it.

A spokesperson for Historic Scotland said today: “We were very disappointed to discover that the Rune Stone had been vandalised in this way and immediately contacted the police, as it is a criminal offence to damage a scheduled monument. Our conservation experts will review the damage soon and put together a programme of remedial work to mitigate the damage done. Fortunately incidents such as this are rare, and we continue to work with the local community to educate people on the significance of these prehistoric sites.”

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