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Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government, responsible for historic monuments in Scotlandmarker.

Its website states:

It has direct responsibility for maintaining and running over 360 monuments in its care, about a quarter of which are manned and charge admission entry. Membership is available, renewable annually which admits the holder to all properties free of charge and equivalent sites in England and Wales (at half price in the first year and free thereafter). It publishes a quarterly magazine as well as many guidebooks and manuals, in partnership with HMSO or private publishing companies.
Its current logo
Since its inception (as successor organisation to the Ancient Monuments Division of the Ministry of Works and the Scottish Development Department) it has increased the number of events run at its sites, most frequently designed to engage young people with history. Similarly, new museums and visitor centres have been opened, notably at Arbroath Abbeymarker and Urquhart Castlemarker. There is also a hospitality section, which makes some properties available for wedding receptions and functions.

As an arm of government, Historic Scotland has similar functions to its counterparts in other parts of the United Kingdommarker:

The agency's Framework Document sets out the responsibilities of Scottish Minister's and the agency's Chief Executive. Its Corporate Plan sets out its targets and performance against them.

Historic Scotland's role has not been without controversy. In 2002, proposals to restore Castle Tiorammarker in the West Highlands, by putting a roof back on, were blocked by Historic Scotland, which favoured stabilising it as a ruin. This position was supported in an extensive Public Local Inquiry at which the arguments for both sides were heard. It has been implied that this dispute has led to a review of the operations of the organisation. Such disputes on the proper way to conserve a building are common, but are normally resolved within an academic context. Some believe that Historic Scotland seems to have had trouble dealing with a dispute spilling over into a major public argument, and has been seen as autocratic and out of touch with the economic needs of rural Scotland.

Historic Scotland is currently consulting on and publishing a comprehensive series of Scottish Historic Environment Policy papers, consolidated into a single volume in October 2008 .

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