Appeal launched to keep Anglo-Saxon gold hoard in Midlands
Museum bosses and city leaders have launched an appeal to keep the prized Staffordshire Hoard in the Midlands.
More than 36,000 people have queued to see the Anglo-Saxon gold since it went on display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which extended its opening hours in the gold rush.
Birmingham City Council and Stoke on Trent City Council are working together to acquire the haul, thought by experts to be worth a seven-figure sum.
Collection boxes will be set up so visitors to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery can contribute.
Coun Martin Mullaney, cabinet member for leisure sport and culture who launched the appeal yesterday, said: “Working together with The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent, as well as other partner museums in Staffordshire, I know we can return the hoard to its rightful home in the region formerly known as Mercia.
“We are therefore, launching an appeal and asking for help from the public – who have already been extremely generous. Public donations help us to show national grant-
giving and other funding bodies that there is strong local support for the acquisition. This often helps us to leverage far greater funds than would otherwise be possible from funding bodies. So even the smallest donation can help to make a big difference.”
Council leader Mike Whitby said: “This unique treasure has already excited audiences from across the world, and has shone a spotlight on the Midlands – providing an exciting link to an often overlooked past. The hoard is a truly regional treasure, that has global significance, and there is clearly a strong feeling that it should remain here in the Midlands.
“I hope everyone will get behind this appeal, and help us to work with our partners to provide the hoard with a fitting home in the future.”
Rita McLean, head of Birmingham museums and heritage, said: “This remarkable treasure was buried in the historic kingdom of Mercia, which covered a vast part of central England. It will greatly enhance our knowledge of the history of this region in the Anglo-Saxon period. We must make sure it is accessible to the public and academic communities alike.
“There are many stakeholders and partners right across the region that have an interest in this extraordinary discovery of Anglo-Saxon treasure, we will be working collaboratively with Staffordshire County Council, Lichfield District Council and the other key institutions who have also expressed a desire to be partners.
“I am also delighted that the British Museum and Portable Antiquities Scheme will continue to work with us on this major project.”
The hoard was discovered by metal detectorist Terry Herbert in July and may even exceed the country’s most famous collection of Anglo-Saxon gold found at Sutton Hoo.
Donations can also be made by cheque or online which allows for the re-claim of Gift Aid (which adds up to an extra 28p for every pound donated, at no extra cost to the donor) www.bmag.org.uk/support-us, alternatively send cheques payable to City of Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Development Trust to Hoard Appeal, c/o Kate Lawton, BMAG, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3DH.