Edinburgh’s Chinese Community gifts Ting and Monument

A solid marble Ting and Monument have been gifted to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) by the capital’s Chinese community in recognition of the important plant research and conservation work that RBGE has been carrying out in China for more than one hundred years, and to commemorate the long and flourishing relationship between Scotland and China.

The two structures, sited at the bottom of the Garden’s Chinese Hillside, were officially unveiled on Saturday 28 April by RBGE’s Regius Keeper Simon Milne; Chairman of RBGE’s Board of Trustees Sir Muir Russell; Chinese Consul General to Scotland Mr Pan Xinchun and the Lord Provost of Edinburgh Frank Ross.

Guests and visitors were entertained by Chinese musicians, a Lion Dance by Yee’s Hung Ga International Kung Fu Association and traditional Chinese dance performed by pupils from the Edinburgh Chinese Community School. The afternoon was rounded off with music by Stockbridge Pipe Band.

The pink marble Ting or Pavilion, and white marble Monument, weighing a total of around 28 tons, were sculpted in sections by craftsmen in China and then shipped over to the UK. Once at the Garden, the sections were skilfully pieced together by master stonemasons.

Reguis Keeper Simon Milne said: “The Botanics is grateful to the Chinese community of Edinburgh and to the main sponsor, The Edinburgh Chinese Culture and Arts Committee, for generously gifting the Ting and Monument to the Garden. Scientists and horticulturists here have been actively involved in the study of the flora of China for over 100 years. We greatly value our collaborations with China, which include exciting research in plant genetics, plant discovery expeditions, horticulture and conservation.’’

He added: “I am sure both structures will be greatly enjoyed by the 900,000 people who visit the Garden each year. The new Pavilion replaces the ageing wooden Ting that was constructed in 1997 when the Chinese Hillside was formerly opened.’’

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “This generous gift is a symbol of the enduring and strong relationship between Chinese botanical research institutions and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

“This relationship demonstrates what can be achieved when our two countries work together to address common challenges, such as the need to protect and enhance global biodiversity.

“I welcome this gesture by the Chinese Community in Edinburgh and know the Ting and Monument will be appreciated by everyone who visits the Garden.’’

Consul General Pan said: “Many congratulations on the new China Ting and Monument at the Garden. A pavilion is a traditional Chinese building for leisure. It is great to have one here as it serves as evidence of strong historical links between China and RBGE, a symbol of friendship between China and Scotland, as well as recognition of contributions by the Chinese community to promote Chinese culture. I am sure this beautiful building and Monument will become another platform for enhancing our goodwill and friendship and add a new attraction to the city of Edinburgh.’’

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)