The gravestone of the Scottish family of a world-famous Norwegian composer has been preserved forever more in a film and online 3D model.
The Grieg Society of Scotland rescued the gravestone of classical musician Edvard Grieg’s relatives before the inscription was lost because it had sunk far into the ground.
It was obscured by grass and the lettering was almost illegible.
Founded in 2017, the group aims to advance the understanding of the lives and Scottish connections of Mr Grieg and his wife Nina.
One of its projects included the conservation of the stone, which is over 200-years-old and lies in Rathen Old Kirkyard, near Fraserburgh.
Honorary society president and member of the family, Johanne Grieg Kippenbroeck, is glad the work has now been carried out.
She said: “The Griegs in Norway are very proud of Edvard, of course, but we are also proud of our Scottish ancestry.
“The job that has been done to literally rescue the gravestone of John Greig and Ann Milne, one of Edvard Grieg’s ancestors, is marvellous.
“Another year and it would probably have been too late.”
The society has released a 10-minute documentary film (see above) named Monumentally Grieg capturing the conservation work which took place.
The project has become a symbol of Scottish-Norwegian friendship and cultural exchange.
The grave, erected in the 1770s, commemorated Grieg’s great-great-grandfather John and his spouse Ann Milne.
Both of the couple’s sons James and Alexander, the composer’s great-grandfather, emigrated to Norway.
The conservation work was given the go ahead by Per Grieg sr, representative of the Norwegian Grieg family, and was commissioned by the society.
A 3D model of the stone has also been uploaded on the internet to celebrate the work carried out by conservation team Spectrum Heritage. It was funded with financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Honorary director of the society, Sally Garden, said: “It’s thanks to our fantastic and ongoing North Sea friendships that this conservation project was possible in the first place.
“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.”
It is hoped the film and model can now be used as a resource for the public to understand the links between the two countries.
Fraserburgh councillor Charles Buchan said: “Those involved 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.”
The society is planning to host a weekend of community workshops on digital imaging techniques for local heritage at Rathen in June.
Clara Molina Sanchez of Spectrum Heritage said: “New imaging techniques like photogrammetry and Reflectance Transformation Imaging help us enhance details of the surface of cultural heritage objects which we would not be able to see with the naked eye.
“These tools help conservators record the state of objects and to engage with different audiences – in the case of this gravestone from Scotland, Norway and all across the globe.”
See more at www.griegsocietyscotland.org.