A public appeal to save the largest Roman coin hoard ever found in Britain will host a major fundraising event at a Medieval palace in Somerset later this month.
© Somerset County Council
The Art Fund needs to raise £320,250 by February 19 to buy the Frome Hoard, a buried pot of more than 52,000 coins found by metal detectorist Dave Crisp in April 2010, for the Museum of Somerset in Taunton.
Supporters are being urged to make a minimum donation of £15 to attend an evening dedicated to the hoard at Bishop’s Palace in Wells, where experts from the British Museum will discuss the theories behind the burial in front of examples from the 1,700-year-old find.
“This is our chance to help keep this extraordinary treasure on display in Somerset,” said Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar.
“The event in Wells is a great opportunity to find out more first-hand about this incredible find, and I very much hope it will help to raise significant funds towards the total needed.
“We need to save the hoard so that experts can carry out vital research – and so that new generations can enjoy and be inspired by it.”
Having kickstarted the appeal with a grant of more than £40,000, the organisation is offering to match-fund every public donation up to a value of £10,000. The scheme has raised £75,000 so far, and planners believe an extra £100,000 will be needed to conserve the hoard if the target is reached.
The hoard, which weighs 160kg and includes hundreds of coins belonging to emperor Carausius of the Roman army, was declared treasure in July 2010 and presented as a star exhibit at the Treasure Annual Report last month, when Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey compared Crisp to a Lottery winner.
Event takes place January 26 2011 at 4.30pm. Visit www.artfund.org/frome or call 0844 415 4141 to book or donate. Cheques can be posted to The Art Fund, Freepost SN1457, Halifax Road, Melksham, SN12 7BR.
A book on the hoard, written by experts Sam Moorhead, Roger Bland and Anna Booth, is also available from the British Museum online shop.
Watch British Museum experts discuss the hoard at the Treasure Annual Report: