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14th January 2011
Glittering items from the world's largest find of Anglo Saxon gold are set to tour Staffordshire this summer.
Exciting plans that will see a touring exhibition of star items from the Staffordshire Hoard visit venues across Staffordshire this summer are in the final stages of preparation. The exhibition, which is set to visit Stafford's Shire Hall, Lichfield Cathedral and Tamworth Castle between July and September, will be a fitting way to thank the thousands of local people who donated money to help save the Staffordshire Hoard for the nation.
Speaking on behalf of the Staffordshire Hoard Partnership, Councillor Hazel Lyth, Stoke-on-Trent City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, explains: "The temporary exhibition will take visitors on a voyage of Anglo Saxon discovery - from unearthing the story of the hoard from the archaeologist's eye in Stafford, through to exploring the hoard's links to early Christendom, the Lichfield Angel and the priceless St Chad Gospels at Lichfield Cathedral. In Tamworth, visitors will uncover more about the ancient seat of Mercia, the kingdom's bloody battles, and colourful cast of characters.
Councillor Lyth continued: "Often with finds of this importance it takes years before they go on public display, so it's just wonderful that we are able to tour pieces from the hoard around the region, so soon after it was discovered. The tour will be a fantastic way to say thank you to the thousands of local people who gave so generously to help Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke on Trent, acquire this exquisite treasure for the nation."
The exhibition will open at Stafford's Shire Hall on 2 July and close on 24 July. It will then visit Lichfield Cathedral, from 29 July to 21 August. Its final stop will be Tamworth Castle, opening on 27 August and closing on 18 September. Entry will be free, and visitor donations will help to continue the work to conserve, research and display the Staffordshire Hoard.
The displays are set to feature more than forty star items from the Staffordshire Hoard, including the pectoral cross, the biblical inscription and the 'seahorse'.
To help bring the exhibition to life, teams at Stafford, Lichfield and Tamworth are working alongside colleagues at Birmingham and Stoke, including skilled conservators, researchers and museum experts. They are fine-tuning the meticulous security arrangements, developing 3D models, and creating displays that will explain the new exciting discoveries that are being uncovered, as part of the work to conserve and research the hoard. The teams are also working to raise the vital funds that will help to stage this six-week Staffordshire tour.
The £3.3 million collection, a completely unparalleled haul of gold and silver Anglo Saxon military artefacts, was declared treasure on 24 September 2009.
Since then, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke, which jointly acquired the treasure, have begun the delicate process of researching and conserving the hoard - including cleaning some of the most significant artefacts.
Staffordshire Hoard artefacts will remain on display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery during the travelling exhibition.
The Staffordshire Hoard Partnership consists of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Lichfield Cathedral, Lichfield District Council, Tamworth Borough Council, and Staffordshire County Council. Working together, the partners have succeeded in bringing the Staffordshire Hoard home, to ensure it is enjoyed and appreciated by as many people as possible. The treasure will benefit the region culturally, educationally and economically. In order for the hoard to be made available and accessible to members of the public, to learn from and enjoy, it must move through three stages: conservation, research and then display- through the Mercian Trail that will take the story of the hoard around the region.
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