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Our Honorary Member Eddi Reader becomes first Burns ambassador
Singer says conservation charity is 'keeping Burns alive' for future generations
One of Scotland’s best known Burns enthusiasts has praised the National Trust for Scotland’s leading role in preserving the legacy of Robert Burns for future generations.
Eddi Reader is a long time Burns enthusiast and in 2003 released her first Burns album – ‘Eddi Reader Sings the Songs of Robert Burns’ – to critical acclaim. The album spurred a renewed international interest in the bard and in 2009, Eddi released ‘The Songs of Robert Burns: Deluxe Edition’ to celebrate the 250th anniversary of his birth.
Now, on the bard’s 251st birthday, she has agreed to act as the first celebrity ‘Burns Ambassador’ for the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, due to open in Alloway in autumn 2010.
As a Burns Ambassador, Eddi will assist the National Trust for Scotland in promoting the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum around the globe and to kick things off, Eddi was the headline act at South Ayrshire Council’s 1759 event last night (Sunday 24 January 2010) which was hosted at the Tam o’Shanter Experience in the Burns National Heritage Park. The Trust will be working with Eddi over the coming months in the lead up to the opening of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in autumn 2010, as the push to raise the final £1.1m for the project continues. Donations can be made at: www.nts.org.uk/Burns/CelebrateBurns.
Eddi said: “It’s well known that I’m a passionate fan of Burns’ work and I’m thrilled to become the National Trust for Scotland’s first Burns Ambassador. It is great news for Scotland and for the memory of Burns that the Trust are so determined to create a world-class museum in his honour, keeping him alive for future generations to enjoy. Scotland needs a fitting legacy for Burns and the Trust’s new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum will be a place where generations of children can learn about the man and his work in a fun and interactive way.”
Robert Burns Birthplace Museum Director Nat Edwards said: “Like the Trust, Eddi understands the need to bring Burns to life for a modern audience. Her interpretation of Burns’ music certainly does, and so will the museum. It is fantastic to have her support, which we hope will inspire Burns fans from all walks of life to follow the progress of our project and get involved in supporting us through visits and donations.”
Ms Reader is not the only high-profile Burns fan to support the project, in 2009, renowned Scottish artist Peter Howson donated a never before seen 6x4ft painting of Burns to the National Trust for Scotland to help raise funds for the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. The painting has been photographed and is now being hosted online at www.howsonburns.com where visitors to the site can purchase a block of pixels for £10 which will go towards the completion of the museum. For every block of pixels purchased, a small piece of the painting will be revealed. When all of the pixels have been sold, the painting will be revealed in its entirety and one lucky person will win the piece which is thought to be worth £50k.
The £21m Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is the National Trust for Scotland’s most ambitious project to date and will include a new 1600m² museum and the redevelopment of the existing Burns National Heritage Park.
The new museum will provide space for the collections, their interpretation and storage, as well as for visitors. It will also boast state of the art education facilities designed to encourage learners of all ages and levels to study Burns, his life and work. The new facility will more than triple the amount of space available to showcase one of the most important Burns collections in the world.
Burns Cottage, where the bard was born, was recently re-opened by the First Minister Alex Salmond following a £1m renovation which included the installation of new audio visual displays that bring Burns’ story to life. The area of smallholding around the cottage has been landscaped to give an impression of the agricultural landscape that existed 250 years ago and the former Burns Museum has also been transformed into a spacious Education Pavilion which is the first educational facility in Scotland to have Burns experts on-site.
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