EDINBURGH, Scotland, May 18 (UPI) -- British government officials were under intense pressure Tuesday to stop the auctioning of papers belonging to the creator of Sherlock Holmes.
Thousands of letters, notes and manuscripts of Edinburgh's Arthur Conan Doyle were set to be auctioned at Christie's in London on Wednesday, the Scotsman reported.
But the prospect that the United Kingdom might lose a national treasure has prompted calls for the national arts minister to halt the sale.
"The first thing we need to do is save these papers for the nation, then we can decide where they should remain," said Alex Salmond, a politician from Scotland.
"It would be marvellous if some or all of them could come to Edinburgh on a permanent basis."
"In the disappointing event that the sale does go ahead, I urge that public resources, such as lottery funding, be used to save this extraordinary and invaluable collection for the public and academic scholarship."