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Treasure found in Torfaen

Credit: National Museum of Wales

Late Bronze Age spearheads and axes have been declared treasure by H.M. Coroner for Gwent.

The hoard was discovered by Gareth Wileman in Trevethin, Torfaen in November 2014 when he was metal-detecting on ploughed farm land.

The hoard contains two spearheads and three socketed axes, all of bronze. The hoard may be dated to the Ewart Park phase of the Late Bronze Age around 1000-800 BC, or 3,000 to 2,800 years ago.

The character of this metalwork hoard is interesting and mixed, with elements similar to artefacts found in hoards from south-east Wales, The Marches and south-east England. The spearhead with two half-oval shaped openings is a weapon type commonly present in warrior hoards of the Broadward tradition, found across the Midlands and south-east England.

– Adam Gwilt, Principal Curator of Prehistory at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Welsh dinosaur 'comes back to life'

Dracoraptor lived 201 million years ago. Credit: National Museum of Wales

A life-size reconstruction of the Welsh dinosaur goes on display today at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.

The bones of Dracoraptor hanigani (meaning dragon robber) were discovered in 2014 at Lavernock beach near Penarth in South Wales by brothers Nick and Rob Hanigan. The creature was a small meat eating animal the size of a large dog and a distant cousin ofT.rex.

Bob Nicholls a Bristol–based palaeo-artist was commissioned to make the life-sized model. Scientists believe the body might have been covered in a feathery down, and possibly with quills along its back and these were applied to the surface of the model.

National Museum of Wales staff to strike over pay

The strike is due to take place between 12:00pm and 2:00pm.

Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members at all seven sites of the National Museum of Wales will be walking out today in a dispute over pay.

The strike is due to last for two hours and is in response to proposals that would cut the pay of the museum's lowest-paid staff.

A spokesperson for the National Museum Wales said that no decisions have yet been made regarding the cuts and that they hope to be able to reach an agreement to try and avoid further disruption.

Masterpiece arrives in Cardiff for museum visit

The Constable will be on show in Cardiff until September. Credit: Tate, London

One of the greatest masterpieces of British art, John Constable’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows painted in 1831, will be on display at National Museum Cardiff from Friday 7th March for six months.

The artwork is one of a series of monumental ‘six-footer’ canvases painted by the artist which were reserved for his finest compositions.

David Anderson, Director General of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, said, "We are delighted to be hosting one of the great masterpieces of British art here at National Museum Cardiff. I hope our visitors here in Wales take the opportunity to see this important painting up close.”

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Artwork of 'unique vision of Wales' bought for £1m

The Rise of the Dovey by John Piper. A collection has been bought by the museum. Credit: National Museum Wales

A collection of works worth £974,000 by the artist John Piper has been bought for Wales’ national art collection.

The series of works by the the mid-20th century neo-romantic artist – was purchased with support form the Heritage Lottery Fund the Derek Williams Trust and the Art Fund.

Much of the collection, including nine further works given to Amgueddfa Cymru as a gift, will be on display at National Museum Cardiff from Saturday, 22 February 2014 as part of a new exhibition inspired by Wales’ Celtic past, folklore and landscape.

Piper’s works include views of Snowdonia. The mountains of North Wales provided a key source of inspiration to Piper from the early 1940s to the mid-1950s, during which time he rented two cottages in the area.

David Anderson, Director General, National Museum Wales said, "The success of the exhibition by John Piper in 2012 confirmed to us how popular the artist is to the people of Wales, and therefore how important it is to add to the representation of his work in the national collection."

National Museum Wales: 35 jobs could go

Around 35 permanent jobs could be lost at the National Museum Wales as restructuring talks begin.

A further 160 posts will also be affected in some way under the proposals.

The Museum says the current financial climate is partly behind the proposed changes, along with a need to 'refocus its work to meet the changing expectations of its visitors'.

It said it hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies by offering redeployment and schemes such as voluntary redundancy and early retirement.

A 90-day consultation process is now underway.

Record visits to Wales' national museums

Wales' national museums are more popular than at any time since free entry was introduced in April 2001. The seven museums received 1.69 million visits in 2011-12, to take the total to 16.5 million visits over the 11 years of free entry.

Our recent visitor figures have been excellent. Thanks to the vision and continued financial support of the Welsh Government, I'm delighted that Wales was the first country in the UK to remove a major barrier to museum attendance. In 2000-01 fewer than 250,000 of visits were made by people from these less affluent groups. The figure has increased to over 500,000 – one in every three visits. Free entry is only one of the ways that Amgueddfa Cymru contributes to the social and economic life of Wales. We also play a leading role in culture and heritage provision, education, skills and tourism.

– David Anderson - Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales)

Wales' seven national museums are:

  • National Museum Cardiff
  • St Fagans: National History Museum
  • National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon
  • Big Pit: National Coal Museum
  • National Wool Museum, Drefach-Felindre
  • National Slate Museum, Llanberis
  • National Waterfront Museum, Swansea