David Starkey announces £3.3million campaign to save the Staffordshire Hoard for the West Midlands
Historian Dr David Starkey today made a passionate plea for funds to save the Staffordshire Hoard for the West Midlands.
Dr Starkey is amongst a host of prominent public figures supporting the campaign, launched today by The Art Fund charity, to raise the £3.3m needed by 17 April to save this awe-inspiring find of Anglo-Saxon treasure for Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent.
The Art Fund’s new Director, Dr Stephen Deuchar, kick-started the public appeal by announcing an initial Art Fund grant of £300,000 and by unveiling the official donation website www.artfund.org/hoard.
Birmingham City Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council announced that they are each giving £100,000 towards the campaign, bringing the sum already raised already to £500,000.
Dr David Starkey said: "Archaeological finds don't come any bigger than this. The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest and most valuable collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever; it's the most important find for over half a century, and, in terms of the history of Middle England, the most important ever. But break it up or move it and its meaning is lost. It must stay here, together and intact, to be studied and displayed here in the West Midlands, the foundation of whose history it will now become."
Dr Stephen Deuchar said: "This is the most significant and beautiful treasure find from any era that has ever been unearthed in England. We are thrilled to be leading the public campaign and making an initial grant of £300,000 towards the £3.3million total. For years to come the treasure will be a source of awe and inspiration for all to experience – and we – along with the rest of the nation – are very much looking forward to discovering its story."
The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Minister for Culture and Tourism said:
"I would like to pay tribute to The Art Fund and its partners – Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Lichfield and Tamworth councils – for ensuring the public fundraising campaign to save the Staffordshire Hoard has got off to such a flying start. Although there is a long way to go towards raising the target of £3.3m, I know how much the Hoard has captured the imaginations of local people, and so I am confident we’ll make it. The Hoard is incredibly significant to the understanding of our Saxon heritage and it is only right that it should be kept and displayed here in the West Midlands for future generations to enjoy."
Over the next 13 weeks events and activities will be taking place throughout the West Midlands to raise funds to keep the Staffordshire Hoard in the region. All donations should be given via the official campaign website www.artfund.org/hoard
- The Art Fund welcomes Stephen Deuchar as new director 4 January 2010
- The Art Fund leads official campaign to save precious hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold for the West Midlands 11 December 2009
- Turner's Blue Rigi saved for the nation 1 March 2007
- Art Fund helps two British museums acquire most important Viking treasure in 150 years 27 August 2009