The Stone of Destiny is to return “home” to Perth after the Queen approved the plan.
The Stone, which has been held at Edinburgh Castle since 1996, will become the centrepiece of Perth’s new £26.5 million museum at City Hall.
The decision was announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is one of the four commissioners for the safeguarding of the regalia who advise the Queen about all matters relating to the stone.
Following a public consultation, the commissioners recommended to the monarch that the stone should be relocated and she has now accepted that advice.
Perth and Kinross Council and Culture Perth and Kinross made a submission to the commissioners to relocate the Stone of Destiny to Perth last year, and both welcomed the news that it will be returning.
Council leader Murray Lyle said: “I’m hugely proud and excited that the Stone of Destiny will be moving to Perth.
“Our new £26.5 million, world-class museum is the perfect place to display this historically significant object, which represents both Perth’s history as the original capital of Scotland and our future as a vibrant new city.”
Made from Old Red Sandstone, geological testing shows the Stone of Destiny was quarried at Scone, just outside Perth.
King Edward I took it from Scotland in 1296 as a spoil of war, and it was not officially returned until 1996.
However, on Christmas Day 1950 four nationalist students removed the stone from Westminster Abbey and smuggled it back to Scotland, sparking a huge manhunt.
It was hidden for months then placed in Arbroath Abbey before returning to London.
Ms Sturgeon said: “The Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone, forms an important part of the story of Scotland.
“Following due consideration, the commissioners were satisfied that the proposals for Perth City Hall gave full and proper regard to the need to ensure the security and conservation of the Stone, its accessibility to the general public and that it would be displayed in a manner in keeping with such an important cultural artefact.
“The commissioners also concluded that there would be considerable merit in relocating the Stone to assist with the ongoing regeneration of Perth.”
Construction work on the new museum at City Hall is due to start in February and the museum is scheduled to open in 2024.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Stone of Destiny forms an important part of the story of Scotland. As we look to the future, it will now also play an important role in helping the city of Perth and the surrounding area to further develop as an attractive visitor destination.
“I am grateful to Historic Environment Scotland which has cared for the Stone since its return to Scotland in 1996 and will continue to assist with the ongoing conservation following the relocation.
“As the centrepiece of new £26.5 million museum at City Hall, the Stone will be on display for everyone to see and appreciate. It is truly fitting that, after all this time and the tireless efforts of so many, it will return home.”
Helen Smout, chief executive at Culture Perth and Kinross, said: “To bring this iconic object to Perth and tell its story in the context of a brand-new museum is so exciting for everyone involved.”
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