The campaign to save the Viking Hoard for Galloway has had a significant boost with backing from several high profile names.
The Duke of Buccleuch, Dame Barbara Kelly, Sir Alex Fergusson, Sir Malcolm Ross, Sir John Thomson, Richard Arkless MP and Professor Ted Cowan.
All signed a letter that has appeared in Saturday’s The Scotsman that highlighted the tremendous public support for the hoard to be in the region where it was found.
There’s still time to sign the petition at http://bit.ly/2lXFfrH.
The letter reads: “We are writing to you in support of the campaign for the Galloway Viking Hoard to have a home in Kirkcudbright.
“A decision on its future is due very shortly. National Museums Scotland is bidding for sole ownership of the hoard and says this will save it for the nation.
“However, we wish to make an alternative proposal, one that would give it pride of place on a regular basis in a secure and specially designed exhibition area within the new Kirkcudbright Art Gallery.
“Not only would the Galloway Viking Hoard be saved for the nation, but it would also be displayed in its proper regional context.
“Public support for the hoard to have a home in Galloway has been remarkable. The range of objects it contains and the context of its discovery shed new light on the origins of Galloway at a fascinating time in history, demonstrating links around the Irish Sea zone and beyond to Europe and the Mediterranean.
“This is an opportunity for a region to share its unique story with the world and for an area of Scotland, still relatively undiscovered, to assert its historical identity, create new economic and educational opportunities and bolster its tourism potential.
“NMS’s national and international reputation would be greatly enhanced if now, during Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, it recognised the importance of compromise and embraced an equal partnership to bring about the shared care and display of the Galloway Viking Hoard.
“This truly would be working for and with the nation.”
Some 3,250 people have already signed our petition to have the hoard homed in Kirkcudbright, there have also been hundreds of messages of support from all across Scotland, the UK and worldwide. There has also been intense media interest.
The hoard was discovered at an undisclosed location in Galloway by a metal detectorist in 2014.
It includes more than 100 gold and silver objects, some already old when they were hidden. Among them are a unique gold bird-shaped pin, an enamelled Christian cross, decorated Anglo-Saxon brooches, armbands and an engraved Carolingian silver vessel. The items come from across Europe – there are even fragments of Byzantine silk.
If the hoard is given a home in Kirkcudbright GVH is keen to see agreements reached for it to be displayed at other times in the NMS in Edinburgh and beyond.