IT is without a doubt the most important written document in Scottish history and in 18 months time we will celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath.

Now the Yes movement and lovers of Scotland and its history have successfully joined in a unique venture to celebrate Scotland’s own Declaration of Independence.

Last month Scottish artist and writer Andrew Redmond Barr announced plans to create a “unique, visually-striking” illustrated book to coincide with the 2020 celebrations.

He needed to raise £2000 by yesterday and started a crowdfunding exercise. The National can reveal that the target was met and indeed exceeded by yesterday’s deadline with £2085 raised by 43 backers.

The Declaration of Arbroath was a diplomatic letter from the Scots to the then Pope John XXII. It was most probably written at Arbroath Abbey by its abbot the chancellor of Scotland, Bernard of Kilwinning, and is dated April 6, 1320.

The declaration calls for Scotland to be recognised as an independent kingdom against English claims of overlordship. It is thought to be one of the earliest written arguments for popular sovereignty and one of the most significant statements of nationhood in Europe.

The Declaration of Arbroath is one of the primary foundation stones of Scottish identity. In 2016 the Declaration was also awarded Memory of the World status by UNESCO.

At the launch of the crowdfunder, Barr said: “The Illustrated Declaration of Arbroath, published by the Saltire Society, will offer an artistic interpretation of this 700-year-old artefact in a way which is fit for the 21st century. It will bring the artefact to life, highlighting its cultural significance as well as its contemporary relevance.”

In 2011 Barr was one of the co-founders of the arts campaign National Collective. In 2016 he released his first book, Summer of Independence, published by Word Power Books. Earlier this year he also held a solo art exhibition at Edinburgh’s Saltire Society, which explored Robert Burns’ relationship with politics and power.

Speaking on the Declaration’s historical importance, the author said: “The written word has a long and enduring place in Scottish political life, and the Declaration of Arbroath rings sharply through the ages as perhaps our greatest ever demonstration of word-power.”

“The intention of the project is to establish a broader understanding of the Declaration of Arbroath outside of academia. The book will bring the Declaration to life, highlighting its cultural significance as well as its contemporary relevance. It will examine ideas of community and people-power, and ask what freedom means in today’s world.”