Strengthening the ties with Scotland

The First Lady Eliza Reid and The President of Iceland, …

The First Lady Eliza Reid and The President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson. Ljósmynd/Aðsend

President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and First Lady Elíza Reid will travel to Edinburgh today.

The reason for the trip is to further strengthen the ties between Icelanders and Scots, focusing on the history and culture of the two countries. The President will meet in Edinburgh with Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Secretary, and Lord Cameron of Lochiel, the Deputy Secretary for Scotland in the British Government.

The President will also give an open lecture at the University of Edinburgh entitled “Iceland the Brave: The Power and Pitfalls of Patriotism in a Globalized World”. The President will also meet with the representatives of the UNESCO City of Literature in Edinburgh.

Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Culture and Commerce.

Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Culture and Commerce. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Alfreðsdóttir goes with the President

The Scottish tour will include the Minister of Culture and Commerce Lilja Alfreðsdóttir. The minister will accompany the President to visit the National Museum of Scotland where they will look at the so-called „Law Court Tents“. They are thought to have been in the „Law Court House“ at Þingvellir in the late 18th century but were sold to a Scottish tourist in 1858 and are now owned by the National Museum of Scotland. When they were taken out of the country they had been in Bessastaðir for quite some time. In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Republic of Iceland, the National Museum of Iceland will, in collaboration with Þingvellir National Park, borrow the tents and display them in Iceland, he added.

The President and the Minister will also visit the National Archives of Scotland. In the Archives are some Icelandic manuscripts, including the first draft of the song “Lofsöngur”, which later became the Icelandic national anthem, preserved there. Sveinbjörn Sveinbjörnsson wrote the song to Matthías Jochumsson’s poem when they were both in Edinburgh. Both were written in celebration of the one-thousandth anniversary of the Icelandic nation in 1874, making the work 150 years old.

The President's trip to Scotland ends on Wednesday.

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