New photos of the Declaration of Arbroath published ahead of it going on display

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New photographs of the Declaration of Arbroath have been published by the National Records of Scotland to mark its 703rd anniversary.

The never-before-seen photos have been made available, ahead of the famous document going on display later this year.

It will be displayed for the first time in 18 years from June 3 to July 2 at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The Declaration of Arbroath is a 1320 letter from the barons of the Kingdom of Scotland to the Pope seeking his recognition of Robert the Bruce as the country’s lawful king.

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Wax seals attached to tags on the declaration, symbolising the support of individual Scottish barons (Mike Brooks/PA)

The National Records of Scotland chief executive, Janet Egdell, said: “NRS is proud to help display the Declaration of Arbroath, one of the most prestigious documents in our collections, a record of a key period in Scottish history.

“The declaration is striking but at 703 years old, it’s fragile and can only be displayed occasionally to ensure its long-term preservation, under the care of our conservation experts.

“I hope that these new images released today bring this key period in Scottish history to life for people and as many as possible take the chance to see the declaration for themselves from June 2.”

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The ornate letter S of the latin word ‘Sanctissimo’ which starts the declaration (Mike Brooks/PA)

Alice Blackwell, senior curator of medieval archaeology and history at National Museums Scotland, said they were “delighted” to be able to present the photos.

She said: “Its evocative sentiments have given the Declaration of Arbroath a special distinction, not just in Scotland but around the world.

“We are looking forward to inviting visitors to learn more about this fascinating document and to enjoy a rare opportunity to see it first-hand.”

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