Councillor Martin Mullaney has welcomed Tourism Minister Margaret Hodge's calls for the Staffordshire Hoard to remain in the Midlands.
The Hoard, the largest ever find of Anglo-Saxon treasure is currently on short-term display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, attracting thousands of people a day.
Earlier this week, a fundraising appeal was launched to keep the Hoard in the Midlands and, speaking at the Museum Association conference in London, Hodge backed the efforts.
She said: “The Staffordshire Hoard offers an incredible and completely unique insight into Anglo Saxon times. It may take many years or decades for it to give up all its secrets but, while this scholarly research goes on, the pieces must go on public show.
“And I firmly believe their permanent home should be in the West Midlands where people will be able to enjoy and marvel at their Saxon heritage for generations to come, because finds like this tell us about our past, and help to define our sense of place and identity.
“I think the queues around the block of people eager to see the find where it is currently displayed in Birmingham is testament to that.”
In response, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture Cllr Mullaney said: “We welcome Margaret Hodge's comments backing efforts to keep the Staffordshire Hoard in its rightful home – the region formerly known as Mercia.
“We are working with our partners at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent, and other partner museums in Staffordshire to keep the Hoard in the Midlands and earlier this week launched an appeal to that effect.”
Donations can also be made by cheque or on line 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 post cheques payable to City of Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Development Trust send to Hoard Appeal, c/o Kate Lawton, BMAG, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3DH
In response to huge demand, the opening hours of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery have been extended until the exhibition closes on October 13th.
The opening hours will be:
Monday 5th Oct to Friday 9th Oct 9am - 5pm
Saturday 10th Oct (Light Night) 9am - 11pm
Sunday 11th Oct 11am - 6pm
Monday 12th Oct and Tuesday 13th Oct 9am - 9pm
Please allow plenty of time to see the Hoard, including queuing time.