Art Fund launches public appeal to raise £3.3 million Staffordshire Hoard asking price

By Culture24 Staff | 18 December 2009
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A close-up photo of an intricate gold carving on a ring of jewellery

The Art Fund has launched a public appeal to raise the £3.3 million needed to keep the Staffordshire Hoard (above) in the West Midlands.

The 7.5kg stack of silver and gold became the largest Anglo-Saxon haul ever discovered in the UK when it was found by a metal detector in June, featuring more than 1,500 items.

The funding body is now leading the campaign to buy the precious seventh century treasure chest for Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent.

A photo of a stash of gold jewellery

The hoard was discovered in a field near Lichfield in June 2009

Hazel Lyth, Stoke-on-Trent City Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Culture, called the alliance "an unprecedented fundraising effort".

"We know that there is huge public support for the Staffordshire Hoard, and we hope to welcome many thousands of visitors to see some breathtaking, never-before-seen artefacts from the collection.

"But we also need to raise a huge amount of money to ensure the treasure can remain on display, in the region in which it was found."

Councillor Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Birmingham City Council Leisure Sport and Culture, said the authority had already raised £40,000 from visitor pledges.

"I am delighted that The Art Fund has joined us in our efforts to raise the money required to secure this extraordinary piece of the nation's history," he added.

"Working closely with our partners, Staffordshire County Council, Lichfield District Council and Tamworth Borough Councils, we will do all we can to ensure that Birmingham and Stoke succeed in jointly acquiring the Hoard."

Art Fund Acting Director Andrew Macdonald announced an online donation site had been up by the Fund, and further plans will be announced in the New Year.

"This awe-inspiring hoard really must be kept in the West Midlands where it was unearthed," he said.

Visit the campaign site to donate.

All pictures © Dave Rowan and Daniel Buxton, Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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