Campaigners Vow to Step up Fight to Save Viking Hoard for Galloway

Press Release From The Galloway Viking Hoard Campaign

Kirkcudbright plan is best for the hoard, the region and for Scotland

Following a crucial council meeting campaigners have pledged to redouble their efforts for the Galloway Viking Hoard to have its home in the region where it was found.

The Galloway Viking Hoard (GVH) Campaign believes that the hoard, described as among the most exciting ever made in Scotland, should be exhibited in a specially designed area planned for the new Kirkcudbright Art Gallery.

This would have the double benefit of saving the hoard for the nation and the region, while ensuring that it was displayed in its correct historical and archaeological context. Dumfries and Galloway Council’s (DGC) Communities Committee yesterday agreed to push ahead with its bid to have the discovery given a permanent home in a specially created exhibition space at the new Kirkcudbright Art Gallery.

Committee members heard that discussions with National Museums Scotland, which wants sole ownership of the hoard, have so far been unsatisfactory and unsuccessful. The council, however, has said it hopes for continued talks with NMS to see if a joint approach can be agreed.

Cathy Agnew, GVH Campaign Chair, said: “We welcome the council’s decision to continue fighting to save the Viking hoard for Galloway. This is the right thing to do for the hoard, for the region and for Scotland. If a joint agreement can be reached with NMS then so much the better.

“We are now preparing to step up our campaign ahead of the vital meeting on 23 March when the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel (SAFAP) will consider the two bids.

“We are determined to show everyone involved that there is tremendous public support about the importance of having the hoard in the area where it was discovered.

“Exhibiting the hoard in Galloway is right in terms of history and archaeology and would also bring major benefits in terms of cultural tourism and economic opportunities in a region that that the Scottish Government has promised to support.”

Some 2,300 people have already signed our petition to have the hoard homed in Kirkcudbright, there have also been hundreds of messages of support from all across Scotland, the UK and worldwide. There has also been intense media interest.

The hoard was discovered at an undisclosed location in Galloway by a metal detectorist in 2014.

It includes more than 100 gold and silver objects, some already old when they were hidden. Among them are a unique gold bird-shaped pin, an enamelled Christian cross, decorated Anglo-Saxon brooches, armbands and an engraved Carolingian silver vessel. The items come from across Europe – there are even fragments of Byzantine silk.

If the hoard is given a home in Kirkcudbright GVH is keen to see agreements reached for it to be displayed at other times in the NMS in Edinburgh and beyond.

The GVH Campaign petition is at http://bit.ly/2lXFfrH

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