‘Developer left city heritage lying on the ground’
Development: Row after artefact left unattached
Council chiefs have accused a contractor of leaving a key piece of the city’s history “lying around” after a 344-year-old plaque from Aberdeen’s oldest surviving house was left propped up against a wall.
The special armorial panel, dating back to 1673, had adorned a stone archway of Provost Skene House, prior to the project to redevelop the site into a more modern museum, fitting in with the surrounding Marischal Square.
The successful planning application to redevelop parts of the category Alisted building included a condition for the “salvaging and re-use of the armorial panel”, and contractors Morgan Sindall said plans were in place to re-fit the panel into the newly reposi- tioned archway by the end of the week.
However, councillors have raised concerns about the contractor’s actions after the panel was spotted out in the open, leaning against the wall of the Provost Skene House last Thursday, on Monday afternoon and yesterday morning.
It had been removed from the side of the house by yesterday lunchtime.
A spokesman for Morgan Sindall claimed last night: “The armorial plaque has been in safe storage for a number of months while the redevelopment of Marischal Square has progressed.
“As the development nears its final completion, the plaque is ready to be reinstated in its original position.
“This was due to take place yesterday and the stone was positioned next to the wall ready to be fitted.
“However, the works were postponed and the plaque was moved back inside a short time later.
“The plaque will be refitted in its original place by the end of the week.”
When asked exactly how long the plaque had been left leaning against Provost Skene House, the developer refused to comment.
George Street and Harbour councillor Michael Hutchison said: “It’s astounding such an historic panel has just been left lying, and I will be demanding answers about how that has been allowed to happen, along with assurances that the panel is now somewhere more secure.
“This indifference to our city’s heritage is completely unacceptable.
“The administration has been so obsessed with their future liabilities they’ve forgotten to safeguard our past.”
Aberdeen City Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden said: “This isn’t acceptable.
“The heritage of Aberdeen is something we should seek to preserve, not leave lying around.
“I’ve since been given assurances that the plaque is now being stored correctly.”
“I will be writing to the developer to complain about this lack of care. The people of Aberdeen rightfully expect better.”
“The plaque will be refitted in its original place by the end of week”
CONCERN: Councillor Michael Hutchison at Provost Skene House with the armorial panel left lying out.