Hoard could be set for more US displays

By on 03/11/2011 in News

The runaway success of the opening of a Washington DC exhibition of the Staffordshire Hoard could pave the way for further US displays.

More than 1,000 visitors flocked to the opening weekend of a 100-piece exhibition of the treasure at the National Geographic Museum – the second most successful opening ever at the museum.

And November’s National Geographic Magazine, which features a 24-page cover story on the treasure, is already selling faster than any other edition of the magazine this year.

Now Birmingham City Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the two authorities that own the £3.2m collection, are in talks about building on this success.

Rita McLean, interim chief executive of Birmingham Museums Trust, said: “It has been wonderful to see the treasure in Washington, and we will be looking into how we can build on this success elsewhere in the States.

“One of the many wonderful things about the hoard is that it is so big – there are more than 3,500 individual items. This means that we will always have permanent displays and can look to show different items on a rolling basis, as conservation work takes place.

“We have always vowed to make the treasure as accessible as possible which is why there has already been exhibitions at more than 10 museums and institutions in just 18 months since it was found. This is a really tremendous achievement.

“But there is also a vitally important and huge project to take place to conserve the treasure and to research it, and any future displays need to be thought through with this in mind.”

Councillor Mohammed Pervez, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “It has been fabulous to be in Washington to see the launch of the exhibition and witness how it has caught the imagination of the nation. Looking around the display I have seen young children and grandparents alike look in wonder at our unparalleled treasures.

“Any plans we put in place to show the hoard in other states would obviously need to be balanced with ensuring visitors to our own museums are able to see the hoard.”

The 100 artefact exhibition of the treasure is on display at the National Geographic Museum until next March. After then, Stoke-on-Trent City Council will be using a £40,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to stage its biggest exhibition of the treasure to date.

The two museums services in Birmingham and  Stoke-on-Trent  will always have permanent displays of the treasure, and have a wide selection of artefacts on display now, during the Washington exhibition.

ENDS

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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