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The Remaking Of Scotland – Nation, Migration, Globalisation 1760-1860, which is on display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, looks at the fundamental political, economic and social shifts of the time.
However, the Highland Clearances, when up to 150,000 people were forced from their homes between 1782 and 1881 and led to mass migration of Scots, are referred to only in the context of ‘improvements’.
“I have not seen the exhibition, so cannot comment on its particular content or lack thereof, but any public attempt to depict the history of the nation without portraying the end of the old peasant society by widespread dispossession must be considered seriously flawed and unbalanced.”
The statement added: “We believe that the exhibition builds a strong narrative around the art that is displayed and in showcasing the various stories of the historical figures in Scottish history.
“We do acknowledge that the Highland Clearances could be better represented and a key issue has been finding relevant artwork that was both available and would adequately represent complex historical and ethical questions.
“We know that the Highland Clearances are an important event in Scottish history and this is a subject which we would want to address in more depth in the future.
“We are happy to invite Sir Tom Devine, or any person that would like to discuss this exhibition further, to meet with our team.”