(Above) A selection of treasures from The Staffordshire Hoard
A £3.3 million campaign to keep the Staffordshire Hoard in the Midlands has been boosted by a £300,000 pledge from The Art Fund.
Birmingham City Council and Stoke-on-Trent Council have also both announced £100,000 in grants towards the appeal, which is trying to keep the most valuable collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found in the region where it was discovered.
Prominent historian Dr David Starkey has made a passionate plea for more donations. "Archaeological finds don't come bigger than this," he said. "The Staffordshire Hoard is the most significant and beautiful treasure find from any era that has ever been unearthed in England."
The hoard was discovered in a field near Lichfield in June 2009
But he warned that to break up or move the hoard would destroy its meaning.
"It must stay here, together and intact, to be studied and displayed in the West Midlands, the foundation of whose history it will become," he said.
Supportive words came from the Minister for Culture and Tourism, Margaret Hodge, who paid tribute to The Art Fund and its partners for "ensuring the public fundraising campaign has got off to such a flying start."
The Staffordshire Hoard contains in excess of 1,500 objects made from various metals. Found in July 2009, all items are in secure storage at the British Museum, with a selection of items now on show to the public there until further notice.
Anyone wishing to donate to the campaign can visit the official website. Various fundraising events and activities will be taking place across the West Midlands during the next 13 weeks.