Scotland's National Trust has embedded contactless technology into replicas of a couple of its most important artefacts in a bid to halt a slide in cash donations at two of its historic locations.
The replicas include a 200-year-old bust of Robert Burns at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire, and a historical painting of Colonel William Gordon at Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire.
The new artefacts come with a few tweaks for the modern era, including a hand with an in-built contactless device created on a plinth next to the Burns bust.
Re-mastered using 18th Century brushstrokes, the pastiche of Pompeo Batoni's painting at Fyvie Castle has been updated to depict the goddess Roma holding a contactless card and swashbuckler Gordon bradishing a contactless reader.
The Trust collaborated with Visa and Bank of Scotland on the project, which may offend heritage hard-liners, but was deemed an inevitable upgrade with fewer people carrying cash to tip into donation boxes.
Chief executive, Simon Skinner says: ‘Like all charities, we face a significant fundraising challenge as cash donations have fallen sharply in recent years. This initiative could not come at a more crucial time and will enable us to accept contactless donations at our sites for the first time.’