Vikings joined campaigners at the Scottish Parliament today to call for 1,000-year-old treasures to be returned to Galloway rather than be kept in Edinburgh.
The Galloway Viking Hoard Campaign wants to see the finds finally displayed in a dedicated exhibition space at a new gallery in Kirkcudbright, boosting tourism in the area.
Over 5000 people have signed petitions and there have been hundreds of messages of support from across the country and from overseas.
A letter backing the campaign has been signed by the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry KBE, Dame Barbara Kelly DBE FRIAS, Sir Alex Fergusson, Sir Malcolm Ross GCVO, Sir John Thomson GCMG, Richard Arkless MP and Professor E J Cowan FRSE.
The petition calls on Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP to help ensure the hoard returns home to Galloway rather be kept by the National Museums.
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 enameled Christian cross, decorated Anglo-Saxon brooches, armbands and an engraved Carolingian silver vessel. The items are thought to come from across Europe – there are even fragments of Byzantine silk.
A meeting takes place on March 23rd at which the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel is due to make its final recommendation on the two bids for the hoard – one for its home to be in Kirkcudbright and the other for it to be held by National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh.