The Art Fund appeal to save the most valuable treasure hoard ever discovered in the UK now stands at £1,080,000, with almost £500,000 coming from members of the public.
Birmingham City Council is working with Stoke-on-Trent City Council to jointly acquire the Hoard, which comprises over 1,500 artefacts and has been valued at £3.3m.
The Art Fund is spearheading the campaign to save the Staffordshire Hoard for the West Midlands. The charity is delighted to have reached this landmark figure, just seven weeks into the campaign, which began on 13 January.
The Art Fund’s Director Stephen Deuchar commented: “This is really excellent news, furthering our conviction that if the campaign continues to gather steam, we still can make the £3.3million by 17 April. However, there is much work to be done and we need as many public donations as possible – so if you’ve been inspired by the Hoard but haven’t yet donated, now is the time.”
Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture Cllr Martin Mullaney also spoke of his delight at news that the Staffordshire Hoard fundraising appeal has passed the £1 million mark.
He said: “This is another significant milestone and the fact that almost half the total has come from members of the public shows just how much people have taken this fundraising campaign to their hearts.
“From day one the Hoard has sparked massive interest across the world and we’ve had a number of international donations underlining the widespread support to keep this unique collection in the Midlands.
“With Birmingham now shortlisted for City of Culture status, it would be amazing to think the Hoard could have a permanent home back in the region for 2013. This is our heritage and we still face a lot of hard work to safeguard the Hoard for generations to come.”
Following last year’s hugely successful display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 118 items from the hoard, including 40 artefacts that have never been seen before are on display at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery until March 7.
Plans are also being drawn up to once again display the items in Birmingham.
Visitors to the Potteries exhibition have boosted the campaign by £90,000, while other donations have come in from as far afield as the US and Japan.
The Art Fund urges more members of the public to step forward and donate, by visiting the Art Fund website to donate online or by calling 0844 415 4004.