The Galloway Hoard saved for the nation
- National Museum of Scotland
- 26 October 2017
The richest collection of Viking-age gold, silver and jewelled treasure ever found in Britain or Ireland has been saved after an appeal raised £1.98m.
Having achieved a fundraising target of £1.98m, National Museums Scotland has acquired the Galloway Hoard on behalf of the nation and can now begin vital conservation work on this striking collection of Viking-age objects.
Discovered in Dumfries and Galloway by a metal detectorist in 2014, the Galloway Hoard consists of more than 100 pieces of gold, silver and jewelled treasure including ingots, arm-rings and brooches – and some particularly striking items such as a gold pin in the shape of a bird and a decorated silver-gilt cup of Continental or Byzantine origin. The hoard is unique in bringing together a remarkable variety of objects in one discovery, hinting at hitherto unknown connections between people across Europe and beyond.
Following the allocation of the hoard in May 2017 to National Museums Scotland by the Queen’s Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer, NMS had just six months in which to raise the necessary funds. A public appeal raised more than 1,500 donations, while significant contributions came from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (£1m), Art Fund (£400,000) and the Scottish Government (£150,000).
Gordon Rintoul, director of National Museums Scotland, said: ‘In the last six months we have been overwhelmed by the response from the general public who have got behind our campaign to "Save the Hoard". I would like to say a personal thank you to everyone who has generously donated to the campaign; without them this incredible achievement would not have been possible.
‘Now we look forward to starting the work on conserving and researching the hoard to unlock its secrets.’
Stephen Deuchar, director of Art Fund, said: ‘Art Fund is honoured to have played a part in this incredible campaign, whose success means that this unique hoard of Viking-age treasure will be safely entrusted to National Museums Scotland. It can now remain on view to enthral countless visitors from Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond, shining bright new light on the ancient history of our lands.’
It is anticipated that the necessary conservation and research work will take around two years before the Hoard will once again be seen at the National Museum of Scotland prior to a national tour. Further details of the tour will be announced at a later date.