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Independence 'would boost Scotland's cultural scene'

21st January 2010

The cultural life of Scotland would benefit if the country was given greater independence, it was suggested in a debate.

Culture minister Fiona Hyslop, former first minister Henry McLeish, journalist Ruth Wishart and Radio Scotland's Iain Anderson took part in a discussion at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow.

The panel examined how political affairs can affect the country's cultural landscape and Ms Hyslop argued that granting the Scottish Executive greater responsibilities would strengthen the creative sector.

'Artists and creators often hold up a mirror to society, reflecting back the experience of belonging; nowhere more so than in Scotland, where our distinctive cultural life is known the world over,' she commented.

The culture minister pointed out that Scotland trades on the recognition of its heritage attracting visitors and businesses, suggesting that moves to boost its creativity would lead to concrete advantages for the country.

Last year's Celtic Connections festival was used to launch Homecoming Scotland, which was a year-long programme of events designed to highlight the contribution that the country has made to the world's cultural scene.

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