YOUR article “Archaeologists hope to unearth secrets of Neolithic society” reveals an answer to another problem (The National, Wednesday Sep 7).

These three-dimensional holographic photographic techniques need to be applied to the so-called “Elgin Marbles”.

Any film studio could reproduce them in plastic so that, to the eye, they were indistinguishable from the original and at that point, they should be returned to Greece.

There is a powerful Scottish element here.

The Scottish Government should intervene and demand the tasks defined above to be undertaken and openly state support for the Greek request for the return of their artifacts especially as there appears to be no proof that Lord Elgin ever paid for them.

The British Museum will claim ownership because they have proof they paid good money for them (£30,000) but purchasing [potentially] stolen property does not give ownership rights.

Reproduce them, and give them back.

If the English can’t do that, we can!

Christopher Bruce, Taynuilt

I WAS pleased to note you carried a report that SNP MP Patrick Grady is leading a debate on the right of Scots to decide how they will be governed (MP calls for debate on Claim of Right, The National, Sep 5).

All I can say is: “Hooray”– at last someone in the SNP is perhaps beginning to understand that Scotland has a legally binding written constitution which the Treaty of Union did not, nor could not rescind. Only the people of Scotland in government may amend or otherwise Scotland’s current written constitution. Only once the SNP understand this constitutional situation may they ever have a cat’s chance in hell of persuading the people of their right of independence.

The question of Scottish sovereignty is as old as the nation itself, with its roots deep in our Pictish/Celtic past, but it is nevertheless a fact in reality to this day. In earlier times on those occasions when the vacant crown of Scotland had to be filled by a process of selection of contenders and a final election, the officers of state always acted in the name of and on behalf of: “the people of the Realm of Scotland”. No monarch could ascend the Scots’ throne without the “expressed will and wishes of ‘The People of Scotland’”.

Another example is “The letter of the Barons of Scotland to Pope John XXII” penned on their behalf by the Abbot of Arbroath, Bernard de Linton, in April 1320. This letter is commonly referred to as “The Declaration of Arbroath”. Here again we read that the letter is in the name of the people of the realm of Scotland, with references to their “sovereignty” in as much that if he (“the King”) did not act according to their will and wishes that they (“the people of Scotland”) would elect another who would act in accordance with their wishes, albeit through the officers of state (representatives from Church and nobility). At that time the Pope was the final arbiter between states in dispute, the equivalent to the secretary general of the United Nations today. The Declaration of Arbroath is a legitimate written constitutional document and internationally recognised as such.

On behalf of the people of Scotland, the Scots Parliament passed into Scots’ constitutional law The Claim of Right (not to be confused with England’s Bill of Rights) on April 11 1689. The Claim of Right reiterates the established rights of the Scots Parliament in relation to the Crown. The monarch reigned whereas parliament legislated while sovereignty remained with the people of Scotland as the supreme constitutional authority. This is a fundamental written constitutional document in force to this day. Neither Scotland’s Claim of Right nor England’s Bill of Rights were affected by the Treaty of Union of 1707.

John McGill, Kilmarnock

THANK you for covering the important environmental and economic issue of decommissioning North Sea oil rigs (New solution for North Sea decommissioning, The National, Sep 3). You highlighted the presence of “300,000-tonne steel and concrete jackets ... in the Brent field” – the massive structures that have held rigs anchored to the seabed. These would either be abandoned – left in place once the rigs themselves are towed away (with uncertain consequences for marine ecosystems) – or else have to be laboriously dismantled and removed (at great expense, and whose?).

I would like to suggest that there are further, far more positive choices. Could we explore the potential of these anchoring structures to now support tidal or wave-power renewables, sub-surface? Or offshore wind arrays, built above? Both together? And maybe even more. The “new” of the NESSIE vessel – a floating dry dock proposed by Seaways Engineering International – seems suitable for installing and servicing add-on structures, as well as removing ones not wanted. Sited in the challenging North Sea environment, offshore hubs for research and development would constitute a rigorous test-bed. Could these allow research and development of durable equipment and expertise which Scotland could then export worldwide? Might such innovative ventures also offer ongoing employment for current workers in oil industry and marine engineering, plus newcomers, as the world transitions toward a post-petrochemical economy?

Your correspondent Alisdair McKay of Inverness (Letters, The National, Sep 3) recommends that Shell be compelled to clean up after itself, ie remove its remnant structures. I suggest a win-win alternative: that oil companies be allowed to leave certain structures in place (once made environmentally safe, ie wells securely capped and sealed), but not be obliged to remove the seabed anchoring jackets if they instead will sign them over to the Scottish Government – nationalised, for future use on behalf of the people of Scotland. That use could be direct, say for by government projects, or by lease to others.

Graham P King, Dunfermline

RICHARD Walthew considers a belief in a god a better crutch than drugs or alcohol (Letters, Sep 7). Speaking as the child of a heavy drinker who met Billy Graham, was introduced to God, gave up the demon drink and became a Baptist preacher, I wish he had stuck to alcohol. Still, he made me the atheist I am today. I hope that if my children shed tears at my departure it is because they miss me and not because they do not.

Les Hunter, Carstairs Junction

Letters II: Nordic diplomacy is in short supply when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict