20 February 2012
Professor Charles McKean, Chairman of Edinburgh World Heritage, has called for better identification of the city's historic sites, in order to satisfy the public 'hunger' for information on the city's history. ...
The Chairman of Edinburgh World Heritage, Professor Charles McKean, has called for an improvement in the way in which the city's built heritage is presented to the public, calling for information plaques and signs on buildings. Professor McKean said that many historic buildings are little more than 'derelict lumps of masonry' without signs explaining their history. He said: 'I think there is a huge curiosity in Edinburgh's architecture which is not being satisfied and it is not just the tourists who don't know about the buildings but the natives as well. It is tragic and rather like a man with amnesia. How can you value a building if you don't know what it is or anything about it?
'I think there is a hunger from locals to know about their buildings, as well as tourists who you see wandering about looking but not knowing what the buildings are. We need to get rid of some of the traffic signs on the pavements and instead have little cast iron signs in two languages, like they do in Paris, telling people about nearby closes and buildings.
'There is an issue that if you do it badly it can be an impediment but it can be done with grace and style without ruining the streetscape. There needs to be signs in closes, not paper the place, but put them where relevant.'
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