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The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games can promote Scotland's cutting-edge art and culture to an audience of...
The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games can promote Scotland's cutting-edge art and culture to an audience of millions, culture minister Patricia Ferguson said today.

The minister also pledged that the Games will be used as a vehicle to inspire and encourage Scotland's young people to get involved in, and explore, their cultural heritage.

Scotland expects to play a role in a special cultural programme being planned to run in parallel with the London Games.

Leading figures from London 2012 visited Edinburgh today to discuss how the country can be included in the culture and education programme, which could encourage Olympic visitors to include Scotland in their plans.

The Scottish Arts Council and London 2012 organised the consultative event for key Scottish cultural and educational bodies.

Ms Ferguson said:

'Scotland boasts world class museums, galleries, theatres and an abundance of creative talent. London 2012 will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase our country's cutting-edge culture.

'It also represents an ideal way to create a pathway for children to become involved and enthused through cultural and artistic activity - about the games at an early stage.

'I've asked our cultural and educational bodies to think about how they can shape a Scottish cultural programme, which could form part of the London Games, complementing what will be a magnificent sporting spectacle.'

Jim Tough, deputy chief executive and director of Arts, Scottish Arts Council:

'The Scottish Arts Council and our partners welcome the opportunity to be involved in planning the cultural and educational programmes that will be such a central part of London 2012.

'There will be exciting possibilities for Scottish artists and cultural organisations to contribute this exceptional event, and for the Scottish public to enjoy an international programme in Scotland.

'Competitors and visitors alike can expect to enjoy a richly varied cultural menu from across the UK and we will work hard to play our part.'

The LOCOG CCE team is visiting each nation and region to spend a day with people from the key cultural agencies and cultural organisations in the nation.

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