Last chance to see early Welsh gold and Iron Age blacksmithery as National Museum Cardiff's Origins gallery prepares for a redisplay
St Fagans, the Welsh Natural History Museum at the centre of £25.5 million enhancement plans, is to become the new home of the current prehistoric, Roman and medieval display at National Museum Cardiff, including objects such as the Neolithic Bryn Celli Ddu Chambered Tomb and the 1st century Italian Leopard cup found in Abergavenny seven years ago.
© National Museum Wales
Experts say moving the Origins gallery to St Fagans – its current space in Cardiff is expected to become a temporary exhibition space in 2016 – will allow the museum to “extend the timeline” of the stories it tells as part of a three-year redevelopment.
“Origins has proved to be very popular amongst our visitors and we’re very proud of this,” says Dr Peter Wakelin, the Director of Collections and Research at Amgueddfa Cymru.
“However, we also believe there is now potential to display the objects in a new way at St Fagans, which will appeal to even more people.
“Since being awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 2012 to transform St Fagans National History Museum, it has always been our intention to redisplay the archaeology collection and bring it to life in new and innovative ways.
“In the meantime, we’re looking at how to bring the most exciting archaeological objects to public attention in different ways.”
The Capel Isaf gold armlets, featuring the earliest gold in Wales, from around 1500 BC, will be on final public display in Cardiff this month. The Capel Garmon fire-dog – a 10kg work by an Iron Age blacksmith which may have been an offering to Celtic gods – could also be switching to St Fagans.
The collection will make major loans to the National Library of Wales, from the end of March, and Llangollen Museum, from June 2014.
- Visit Origins: In Search of Early Wales continues at National Museum Cardiff until March 3 2014.
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