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Campaign launched to keep Viking hoard in Galloway

Pectoral Cross. Credit: Matthew Shelley

A campaign group has been set up to keep a Viking treasure hoard, which was found in Dumfries and Galloway, in the region.

The hoard was discovered at an undisclosed location in Galloway by metal detectorist Derek McLennan in 2014, having been deliberately buried over 1,000 years ago.

It includes more than 100 gold and silver objects, some of which were 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.

Derek McLennan Credit: Derek McLennan
The gold bird-shaped pin. Credit: Matthew Shelley

The Galloway Viking Hoard Campaign, is backing Dumfries and Galloway Council’s proposals for the treasure to be based in a specially designed exhibition space at the new Kirkcudbright Art Gallery.

However, they are up against a rival bid by National Museums Scotland, which is seeking sole ownership.

This could see the collection being based in at the national museum in Edinburgh.

The Galloway Viking Hoard is quite extraordinary and should have pride of place in a specially created exhibition space in the new Kirkcudbright Art Gallery.

Remarkable finds have so often been whisked away from the communities where they were discovered only to become a small feature in a large national museum. This is a very old-fashioned approach and in 2017 we should be making sure that regions fully benefit from their cultural riches.

Having a collection of this kind in Dumfries and Galloway would act as a powerful magnet to bring in visitors from all over the country and overseas, benefiting the local economy by encouraging them to spend time here visiting historic sites.

– Cathy Agnew, Campaign Chair

Work is already underway on a £3.1 million project to convert Kirkcudbright town hall into a new art gallery.