Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee today (Tuesday 7 March) heard of the latest position in regards to the Council’s ongoing attempts to bring the Galloway Viking Hoard home to Kirkcudbright.

The Hoard has been at the centre of discussions between the National Museums of Scotland (NMS) and our Council for a number of months in relation to the homing and ownership of the Galloway Viking Hoard collection, which was discovered by a metal detectorist in Galloway in September 2014.

D&G Council has been in regular correspondence with the National Museum as well as senior politicians over recent months in a bid to find a way forward for the permanent home for the collection. Councillors received an options appraisal at committee earlier in the year, and agreed that D&G Council would continue to pursue a sole application, but at the same time work with NMS to come up with a solution that met the requirements of all stakeholders.
There has been significant media interest in the homing of the Hoard and lobbying of the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop  has taken place, encouraging NMS to work with D&G Council on the application to apply for ownership of the Hoard. Despite this lobbying and media interest, the position of NMS does not yet mirror what D&G Council wish in relation to the ownership and homing of the Galloway Viking Hoard Collection.
Dumfries and Galloway Council is committed to providing a suitably secure home for the Hoard, and indeed work is well underway into transforming the old Kirkcudbright Town Hall into a new Gallery space, where there would be space for a high value and significant exhibition, such as the Hoard.

As well as D&G Council wishing to complete a satisfactory conclusion to discussions with NMS, a campaign group made up of local artists and historians has been created, and have collected over 2,195  signatures on a petition stating that the Hoard should be ‘homed where it was found.’

Councillors discussed how our Council can take forward plans to home the collection at the Communities Committee today. These discussions were summarised by the Communities Committee Chairman, Councillor Tom McAughtrie.

He said;
Our position remains the same. Our Council feels very strongly that the Hoard was discovered in our region, so it should remain in our region. Despite correspondence going to and forth with NMS, I cannot confidently say that we’re anywhere closer to reaching an agreement with them. Therefore, we’ll press ahead with plans to submit a sole application for the Galloway Viking Hoard, but at the same time, we’ll keep our commitment to work with NMS to reach something closer to a fairer arrangement than the one that is currently on the table. I wish to thank the campaign group for all their work and efforts to date, and hope we can come up with a plan of action to get the Hoard home.”

Galloway MSP Finlay Carson has pressed the Cabinet Secretary for Culture to take action to ensure that the Galloway Viking Hoard is not lost to Edinburgh.

In response to a letter from Finlay on the topic earlier this year, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said that National Museums Scotland:


“has a national remit of course and, as I have indicated, I would fully expect them to work with the local museums service, whether they acquire sole or joint ownership of the Hoard, on a long-term local display of artefacts from the Hoard”


Finlay welcomes the commitment to ensure that artefacts are displayed on a long-term basis in the local area, but presses the Minister to do more to ensure that the home of the Hoard is at Kirkcudbright art gallery.


In a response to the Cabinet Secretary, Finlay Carson, MSP for Galloway & West Dumfries wrote:


“While I welcome your commitment to see a long-term local display of artefacts from the Hoard, I was concerned by some of the language of your letter.


“Should, as you suggest, National Museums Scotland be using Scottish Government funding as part of the acquisition package, then I believe that it is fully within your remit to ensure that the home of the Hoard is at Kirkcudbright’s new art gallery.


“As I stated in my previous letter to you, bringing the hoard back to the area, on a long-term secure basis would bring a great amount of excitement, add to tourism levels and bring a great boost to the economic and cultural prosperity of the region.”


A decision on the fate of the Hoard will be made on the 23rd of March by the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel. You can sign the petition to keep the Hoard in Galloway by clicking HERE


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