SCOTLAND’S historic ties with Norway are being celebrated in a new documentary about the dramatic rescue of an iconic gravestone in Aberdeenshire.

The film illustrates the restoration of the 200-year-old tombstone of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg’s Scottish ancestors amid fears its historic inscription could be lost forever.

The 10-minute documentary, Monumentally Grieg, is accompanied by Greig's music and an interactive 3D model and explains the historical significance of the stone in Rathen Old Kirkyard, near Fraserburgh, and captures the process of its conservation in the summer of 2018.

The stone commemorates Grieg’s great great grandparents, John Greig, and his spouse Ann Milne. Two of their sons, Alexander – the composer’s great grandfather – and James emigrated to Norway.

The stone has since come to symbolise Scottish-Norwegian friendship and cultural exchange.

The conservation initiative was given special permission by Bergen businessman and philanthropist Per Grieg sr, representative of the Norwegian Grieg family. Commissioned by the Grieg Society of Scotland, the restoration was carried out by Spectrum Heritage and received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Grieg Society of Scotland honorary director, Dr Sally Garden, hailed Scotland’s ties with Norway.

“It’s thanks to our fantastic, and ongoing North Sea friendships that this conservation project was possible in the first place,” she said. “Being able to let Edvard Grieg, in his own music, tell the story of the stone’s rescue in the film and 3D model, refreshes those living Scottish-Norwegian ties for a whole new generation.”

The society, which will host workshops on digital imaging of local heritage by Spectrum at Rathen in June, hope the restoration project will benefit local tourism and education.

Aberdeenshire councillor Charles Buchan commented: “The Grieg Society of Scotland, and its director, Dr Sally Garden, has done so much to bring back into the public awareness the composer Edvard Grieg, and his connections with the village of Rathen, and surrounding farms.

“In particular, they have to be commended for having spent immense efforts on conservation work in the old Rathen Kirkyard, including the restoration of the family grave, which will be a huge addition to the heritage tourism of Rathen and the north-east.”

Greig, a composer and pianist who lived from, 1843 until 1907, is among Norway’s most celebrated icons.

The restoration of his ancestor’s gravestone was completed in the nick of time, according to Johanne Grieg Kippenbroeck, Grieg Society of Scotland honorary president.

“The Griegs in Norway are very proud of Edvard Grieg, of course, but we are also proud of our Scottish ancestry,” he said.

“The job that has been done to literally rescue the gravestone of John Greig and Ann Milne, our and Edvard Grieg’s ancestors in Scotland, is marvellous. Another year and it would probably have been too late.”

The film and 3D model can be viewed at