Burns Night 2005

Two US American films on the life of Robert Burns have been screened in Scotland for the first time as part of an event to celebrate the national bard. 'The Burns International Conference' took place at Glasgow's 'Mitchell Library'. Organisers said the venue houses the 'best Burns collection in the world'. Speakers included US American publisher and actor, Mr.Thomas Keith who flew in from the USA for the conference, which was the first opportunity for a Scottish audience to see 'The Romance of Robert Burns', which was filmed in 1937, and 'Robbie and His Mary' (1959). [read interview with Thomas Keith] Mr.William Mcilvanney spoke on the topic of 'Burns: A Scottish Accent of the Mind'. Artefacts on display included a cast of Burns's skull, which is part of 'The Colin Hunter Macqueen collection'. Guided tours of 'The Mitchell's' 'Burns Treasures' were also on offer. Mr.Gerry Carruthers, from 'The University of Glasgow', is one of the co-directors of the annual conference.
'This event draws on the best Burns collection in the world, which is held at "The Mitchell Library"', he said. 'The unique event draws top experts and lay people together in their passion for poetry and Scotland's heritage. 'Only Burns -- a champion of ordinary people who is celebrated worldwide -- could appeal to, and bring together, such a wide range of people. 'The international conference gives new insights into the life and works of Burns, and reveals new nuggets of information about the poet and balladeer, including the aspects of Burns's works and life adapted for film'.
His fellow co-director, Mr.Ken Simpson of 'The University of Strathclyde', added:
'"The Burns Collection" of "The Mitchell" is one of Scotland's foremost cultural resources. The event advertises this fact to a very wide audience'.
Something 'Must Be Done' Meanwhile, an 'e-petition' has been lodged on 'The Scottish Parliament's' website by 'Alloway and Doonfoot Community Council'. It calls for a review of the policy and commitment of 'The Scottish Executive' to place Robert Burns and his legacy at the heart of its culture and tourism policies. The 'e-petition' also urges MSPs to ensure that the flagship assets of Burns's heritage, including his birthplace at Alloway and its associated museum, are properly restored and developed. A discussion forum on the website allows people to discuss and debate the petition and related issues. Cultural potential Scottish National Party MSP, Mr.Adam Ingram welcomed the petition.
'I would urge the Scottish public -- and indeed anyone who appreciates the massive contribution that Robert Burns has had in shaping the values of our nation and promoting the fraternity of humankind -- to contribute to this debate', he said. 'The current state of Burns's cottage and museum at Alloway is a "national disgrace". 'The failure to realise the potential of our Burns's heritage, in both cultural and economic terms, is a massive source of frustration to the local community, and indeed to the country at large'.
'Burns event brings film preview', BBC NEWS, 2005/01/15 16:16:48 GMT Links: See The Works of Robert Burns available at Amazon


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