Charles Rennie Mackintosh Trail opens in France

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Media captionThe new trail on Mackintosh's time in France was opened in Port-Vendres

Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore has opened the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Trail in France.

The trail features 30 landscapes showcased across three permanent exhibitions along a route near the French-Spanish border in the Pyrenees.

Mackintosh became a full-time artist after pioneering the modernist movement in 19th Century architecture and design.

He died in 1928 and his wife scattered his ashes at Port-Vendres in 1929.

The Scottish government funded a special Mackintosh exhibition for the Entente Cordiale in 2004 and Mr Moore participated in celebrations at two of the three centres that are hosting the interpretative exhibitions of the Glasgow artist's work.

Image caption Mackintosh is one of Scotland's most famous exports

The £200,000 trail follows Mackintosh's footsteps from the Mediterranean coast to the mountains of the Cerdagne, and a bilingual book 'Monsieur Mackintosh' will present a "voyage of discovery" through the region he considered his home during the latter stages of his life.

Under the guidance of Glasgow University and the Glasgow School of Art, the exhibition has grown over an eight-year period to become a major attraction within the local tourist economy.

It has also encouraged an ongoing programme of Franco-Scottish cultural exchange, continuing the tradition of Europe's oldest cultural alliance.

At the ceremony, Mr Moore unveiled a bronze plaque by British sculptor Jane Robbins commemorating Mackintosh's life and work, accompanied by a troupe of pipers and Catalan dancers in the seaside town.

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