The campaign to permanently display the Staffordshire Hoard in the Midlands has passed another major milestone.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent have now transferred £3.3 million to the British Museum for the joint acquisition of the world famous collection of Anglo-Saxon gold.
That means the farmer on whose land the treasure was found, and the metal detecting enthusiast who discovered it will now receive their money (a 50/50 split of £3.285 million).
The new joint owners of the hoard - Birmingham City Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council - are now focusing their attention on raising a further £1.7 million to research and conserve the 3,000 sixth and seventh century artefacts, and to ensure that they are permanently on public display.
The money will help create a Mercian Trail to tell the full story of the Hoard. Working with Lichfield District Council, Staffordshire County Council and Tamworth Borough Council, the trail will take visitors on a journey through the heart of Anglo-Saxon Mercia.
Cllr Martin Mullaney, Birmingham City Council cabinet member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, said: “It was a great achievement to secure the Hoard for the West Midlands region and raise the necessary £3.285 million to return the hoard to its rightful home.
“It's important to recognise support from The Art Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and of course from members of the public. This campaign clearly struck a chord with a large number of people.
“The work really begins now for our museum experts to conserve and display the hoard for the public to see for generations to come.
“As we bid for the UK City of Culture this is further proof of Birmingham and the region's great cultural heritage.”
Councillor Hazel Lyth, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for Adult Social Care, Sport, Leisure and Culture, said: “We pay tribute to The Art Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and other funding bodies that have made acquiring the hoard possible.
“The support from all these bodies, and of course, the massive response from the general public in helping to raise the money required, has been fantastic.
“Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham will now work with other partners to research and conserve the hoard, which is - without doubt - one of the greatest archaeological finds ever made.
“Unlocking its secrets is an exciting challenge and will tell us so much about this little known period of our history. Just as important are the opportunities it offers to benefit the region through tourism, learning, creativity and design.”
A selection of 120 of the most significant treasures from the Staffordshire Hoard is currently on display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent.
For further information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501