The Daily Mail
reported that on account of the "gradual slowing of the earth's rotation" the heel stone at Stonehenge had become out of line with the sun on Midsummer's Day. As a consequence there were plans afoot to dismantle the monument and re-assemble it "on another site of similar prominence."
However, where to re-assemble it had become the source of controversy. The Ancient Society of Cosmologists wanted to re-assemble it on Mt. Snowdon. However, a Tokyo consortium had offered 484 billion yen to move it to Japan, saying it would "enhance Japan's status as the Land of the Rising Sun when re-sited on top of sacred Mount Fuji." This suggestion had sparked outrage among conservationists.
The Department of Transportation, meanwhile, was delighted, because it had "wanted for 25 years to upgrade the A303 by driving a motorway through the middle of [Stonehenge]."
Stonehenge faces a new dawn today
Monument to be moved because solstice sun is out of line
Stonehenge, the greatest monument to prehistoric civilisation in Britain, is to be moved.
Astronomers have discovered that the sun on Midsummer's Day now rises in a position badly out of line with the mystic Heel Stone which formed the centre of religious worship in ancient times.
The result is that the Ancient Society of Cosmologists, which dates back to Druids who performed rituals at the circle of stones on Salisbury Plain 4,500 years ago, has approved the move.
To correct the misalignment caused by the gradual slowing of the Earth's rotation, the world-famous monument is to be dismantled and re-assembled on another site of similar prominence. The plan to transport the stones, which attract 700,000 visitors every year, has outraged conservation groups and caused a split in the Ancient Society. Its Welsh members, based in Anglesey, were adamant last night that the only suitable alternative plot would be the summit of Snowdon. Their grand wizard, Dynwal Maughmud, said: "Everyone knows that much of the stone and iron pyrites (fool's gold) used in the construction of Stonehenge was mined in Wales."
A consortium of Tokyo businessmen is believed to have offered 484billion yen (2billion) for the monument, saying it will enhance Japan's status as the Land of the Rising Sun when re-sited on top of sacred Mount Fuji.
But so sensitive are the stones that archaeologists have ruled they must be moved in exactly the same way they were erected. Thousands of labourers will be hired and trained in prehistoric building techniques. Each of the slabs, weighing up to 50 tons, will be dug out and dragged to the new site using an estimated three miles of ropes, 12,500 timber beams and 3,000 rollers.
A decision on the future of Stonehenge will be made today and work will start in exactly a year. Moving the monument will delight Transport Department officials who have wanted for 25 years to upgrade the A303 by driving a motorway through the middle of it.