Druids, Others Protest Stonehenge Construction Project Nov 17, 2020 17:24:51 GMT -5
Post by JoannaB on Nov 17, 2020 17:24:51 GMT -5
Druids, Others Protest Stonehenge Construction Project
Ignoring the recommendations of planning inspectors, last week, the UK’s transportation secretary approved a £1.7 ($2.2) billion project for a two-mile tunnel near Stonehenge for traffic passing close to the ancient site.
Following approval, the Stonehenge Alliance, an advocacy group for the landmark, issued a statement indicating it “deeply regrets a decision that will send shock messages around the world.” In addition to aesthetic concerns, the group fears that underground artifacts will be destroyed during construction. According to a news release, the projection will “become the largest ever human intervention in an area fashioned and revered by over a hundred generations of our ancestors. It would cause irreparable damage.”
Nonetheless, English Heritage, the site’s caretaker organization, considers the decision good news. “This is a landmark day for Stonehenge,” organization chief executive Kate Mavor proclaimed. “Placing the noisy and intrusive A303 within a tunnel will reunite Stonehenge with the surrounding prehistoric landscape and help future generations to better understand and appreciate this wonder of the world. We will now continue to work closely with heritage partners to ensure that the final road scheme is the best outcome for the Stonehenge.”
Needless to say, Arthur Pendragon, a modern-day Druid who believes himself to be the reincarnation of King Arthur, told The Guardian he expects a global protest. “If they really wanted to do this, they should have done it properly with a much longer tunnel, not one that pops up at both ends in the world heritage site,” he declared.
The 66-year-old Pendragon also advised those working at the site to “pray to their gods” before disturbing the area. “Surrounding Stonehenge are buried the remains of thousands of Neolithic dead,” he warned. “The land is sacred and we don’t know what forces we might be unleashing. All our actions have consequences and who knows what those consequences might be.”
He also said it “would be beneficial to have Druids and pagans on site to conduct ritual services when the bodies are disturbed. Everything will be okay,” he claimed, “if the remains are re-interred, but they will want to put them in a museum.”
Druids and other pagans gather at Stonehenge twice a year to celebrate the summer and winter solstices.
Sources: Adam Bennett, The Sun, November 13, 2020; NPR, November 13, 2020; and Gwyn Topham and Steven Morris, The Guardian, November 12, 2020.