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James Bond 007: Licensed to comment

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August 22 2008

James Bond star Sir Sean Connery has lambasted a deterioration in the quality of Edinburgh.  With SPECTRE out of commision the fictional British secret agent has focussed his ire on Edinburgh City Council, Historic Scotland and Network Rail amongst others in a wide ranging polemic.

In his memoirs, being a Scot, the star claims Historic Scotland are “whoring” the countries heritage, hitting out at witch trial re-enactments and “dark tourism” as a corruption of history.  Mary King’s Close is singled out for criticism as a “Disneyfied haunted house experience”.

Elsewhere Waverley Station does not escape comment as Sir Sean expresses “outrage” at the pre-fix Edinburgh being applied to station signage.  The move by Connery connotated “bureaprats” to assuage wayward tourists is not true to the roots of its Sir Walter Scott novel namesake.

Fueling the current Unesco fracas, Bond warns Edinburgh “could soon lose” its World Heritage Status.   Despite praising the “imaginative” work of Allan Murray, Malcolm Fraser, Richard Murphy, Charlie Sutherland and Charlie Hussey the film icon derides the quality of new architecture springing up across the city.  He says: “Each time I return to the city I am shocked at the mediocre quality of the new architecture.”

Closer to the bone, the Hollywood star bemoans a lack of support for his “beautiful” film centre by Richard Murphy.  Decrying a lack of appreciation within the council for the film industry, for which Edinburgh has an international reputation.

It's not all doom however, The Scottish Parliament and Oloroso restaurant were singled out for praise.

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