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As early as 1817, calls were made for the construction of a monument in Edinburgh to commemorate the fallen in the Napoleonic War. In January 1822, a proposal was put forward to 'erect a facsimile of the Parthenon' at a cost of some £42,000. The appeal found support amongst many prominent Edinburgh residents such as Sir Walter Scott, Henry, Lord Cockburn and Francis, Lord Jeffrey.

Originally, the building was planned to have extensive catacombs in the area supporting the main structure, possibly to provide a burial place for significant figures.

Sixteen months after the initial appeal, only £16,000 had been found with the possibility of a £10,000 grant from Parliament. In 1826, the building was finally commissioned and work began.

Particularly due to the use of high-quality materials, the project ended in 1829 with funds running out. Local legend suggests that the city of Glasgow apparently offered to cover the costs but Edinburgh was too proud to accept the other city's charity. As a result, the monument is often given the nickname Edinburgh's Disgrace or Edinburgh's Folly.

Subsequent attempts to "complete" the National Monument have never borne fruit for reasons of either cost or lack of local enthusiasm. A proposal in 2004 was met with a mixed reception.

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Additional Photos by Deniz Taskin (rigoletto) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3091 W: 400 N: 6764] (34231)
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