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British Museum policy on displaying finds locally

The British Museum sees the importance of displaying finds within their local context – but only when it suits them to do so & the artefacts are not already in their collection.

The Gazette (North East England) [1]

Gem of a campaign
Posted by Fiona – Administrator on January 24, 2008 1:20 PM

SUPPORT is mounting to keep a spectacular treasure hoard on Teesside.

Redcar and Cleveland Council is planning to apply for grant aid to ensure the unique Anglo Saxon finds from East Cleveland are given a permanent home at Kirkleatham Museum.

And Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Ashok Kumar, who raised the matter in the Commons, is “greatly heartened” by Arts and Heritage Minister Margaret Hodge’s support.

Cleveland coroner Michael Sheffield has been given reports and images of the “priceless” objects found by freelance archaeologist Steve Sherlock, pictured above, and volunteers. If an inquest in Middlesbrough, possibly in three months, confirms the finds as treasure, they would be valued by the Treasure Valuation Committee in London.

The items, including three rare gold brooches, came from a rural dig near Loftus, and date back to the seventh century. They are thought to have connections with the kings of Northumbria.

Redcar and Cleveland Cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism, Sheelagh Clarke, pictured, said: “We’re determined to preserve them.”

Mr Sherlock, who worked with Tees Archaeology, began his dig in 2005. He said: “The find is of national significance. The reaction has been astonishing.”

The British Museum’s regional find liaison officer Rob Collins said: “Our policy is that whenever possible finds like this should be displayed locally.” Mr Kumar said Ms Hodge told him the British Museum is “giving 100% support”.

Funding bids could be made to the Heritage Lottery and Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.