Church of Scotland sue treasure hunter over £2m Viking hoard

A man who found a hoard of Viking treasure is being sued by the Church of Scotland.

The "historically significant" collection was discovered in 2014 by amateur metal-detector enthusiast Derek McLennan. He unearthed more than 100 items on church land in Dumfries and Galloway.

It has been described as the largest Viking hoard found in modern history, and now the Church of Scotland has filed for legal action against the finder.

At the time, it was reported McLennan would share any proceeds of the collection, known as the Galloway Hoard, with the Kirk.

The National Museum of Scotland paid nearly £2m for the items - it includes silver bracelets and brooches, a gold ring, an enamelled Christian cross and a bird-shaped gold pin.

A couple of the Viking relics found. Credit: ITV Border Life

Rules on discoveries in Scotland mean only the finder receives payment, differing from the rest of the UK where awards are split with the land owner.

McLennan searched the secret location on church land for more than a year in the hunt for treasure.

An exhibition of the Galloway Hoard is set to tour Scotland stopping off at Kirkcudbright Galleries, The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum and Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Once the tour is complete, the items will be displayed on a long-term basis at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

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