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Oldest Scottish book displayed for first time

10th December 2009

Scotland's oldest book will be displayed to the public for the first time from tomorrow (December 11th).

The Celtic Psalter, which is held by the University of Edinburgh, has been compared to the famous Book of Kells in Dublin and is thought to have been produced at the monastery of Iona in the 11th century.

Joseph Marshall, the university's rare book librarian, told the BBC: 'People have been reluctant to show it, but now we have a special display case and really this is the book's first public outing in 1,000 years.'

The book is decorated in green, red, purple and gold, which the expert described as being a 'riot of colour'.

He also claimed that it was probably commissioned by a distinguished figure, such as St Margaret, Queen of Scotland.

The artefact is on display until March 14th and is being shown alongside rare copies of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and the Aberdeen Breviary, Scotland's first mass printed book.

Last month, the National Museum of Scotland placed on display a throne built to an ancient Pictish design as part of a project to investigate the country's early history.

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