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Druids protest over ancient remains on show at new Stonehenge visitor centre
6:02pm Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
Two separate protests were held to disrupt the opening of the new Stonehenge visitor centre today.
Druid leader Arthur Pendragon protested against English Heritage’s decision to display ancient human remains.
He says that the remains excavated from near the world heritage site should be re-buried, and models and replicas put on public display instead.
Loraine Knowles, from English Heritage, said the organisation respects their views but that it has a “responsibility to connect with all audiences”. She added that it was English Heritage’s desire to display the remains that prompted research into them.
Dr Sara Lunt, curator of the exhibition, said the centre is extremely privileged to be able to display the human remains.
“It tells the story in a way that nothing else possibly could,” she said. “We believe in having the real thing displayed and human remains are something the public fully expect at museums.”
Protesting on yesterday and today were members of the Stonehenge Traffic Action Group (STAG), who drove round in a circuit carrying a coffin “to mark the untimely passing of the A344”.
The protest group was set up after the road closure led to drivers using neighbouring communities, particularly Shrewton, as rat-runs.
Members are also calling for a Winterbourne Stoke bypass and for the A303 to be a dual carriageway.
The Government says it will look at the issue as part of a wider response to the country’s traffic hot spots and Wiltshire Council is commissioning extensive monitoring of traffic in the area in March and July next year.
Janice Hassett, who set up STAG, said: “If STAG on its own can generate 1,400 petition signatures, meetings with key stakeholders and growing media attention in under three months, just imagine what we could achieve as a united front.”
To find out more about the campaign, visit SH2.co.uk.
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