The Evening Express reports on the mystery of a missing granite staircase has rocked Aberdeen, with a possible police investigation being launched into how dozens of precious stone slabs ended up on the property of a high profile businessman.
…fears the slabs being removed could mean they might not be returned to the historic park…
…[despite] assurances that all of the old granite would be reused in the project….
The Evening Express writes:
…. Last week, rumours began to circulate that huge granite slabs which had formed part of a staircase at Union Terrace Gardens had been removed from the council’s possession while the city centre beauty spot is undergoing a £28 million renovation.
By Monday, we received a photo of the stone in question being stowed on private land.
The image appeared to come as a surprise to Aberdeen City Council, and officers promptly announced an investigation into what had happened.
… There were fears the slabs being removed could mean they might not be returned to the historic park, despite the local authority previously issuing assurances that all of the old granite would be reused in the project…
Liberal Democrat councillor Ian Yuill himself went to see the slabs, and pushed for the probe to take place into how they ended up on private land….
Mr Yuill said the new owner confirmed they “would be happy to return these should the council wish to have them”.
Was the law broken?
….Things took a dramatic twist on Wednesday when we tracked the granite down to land owned by local…
We arrived at the secluded spot on the outskirts of Aberdeen just as the dozens of slabs were being loaded onto a flatbed truck…
Why does granite matter so much to Aberdeen?
While the rock is of considerable financial value, it has priceless historic importance to the city.
Dominic Fairlie, chairman of the Aberdeen Civic Society, told us why people feel so strongly about it.
He said: “We need to respect our heritage, and the local Aberdeen granite is a material you can no longer get very easily.
“Therefore, the protection of it should be a priority for everybody involved in development in the city.
“Aberdeen is very beautiful, and one of the reasons it’s beautiful is because of the old granite which lasts for generations.
“We should be doing everything within our power to make sure it lasts into the future.”
The city is built extensively of silver-grey granite from quarries within and around Aberdeen.
But as the industry grew throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Aberdeen became a world-renowned producer of granite.
Waterloo Bridge in London, the terrace of the Palace of Westminster and the Forth Bridge were constructed with granite from Aberdeen.