Unearthed in 2014, after over 1,000 years, the Galloway Viking Hoard is one of the finest discoveries of its kind.
Some of the beautiful objects it includes, such as the gold bird-shaped pin, have the potential to become icons for the region – as archaeological finds have done in other areas.
We share Dumfries and Galloway Council’s exciting vision to give the hoard pride of place in a dedicated exhibition area at the new Kirkcudbright Art Gallery.
In Kirkcudbright, the hoard would be set within its correct geographical and historical context.
More than this it would boost cultural tourism and draw in more people to enjoy our many historic sites – as well as the region’s existing important archaeological collections.
Visitors would be able to discover the story of a remarkable find from a region with a highly distinctive past.
However, National Museums Scotland (NMS) wants sole ownership of the hoard. In discussions to date, no clear guarantees about how much, or how often, any of the collection would be loaned to the region, have been offered.
In past decades there was an unfortunate tendency for important discoveries to be taken to large museums in capital cities where they became one small exhibit among many.
We hope this very old-fashioned approach will not be allowed in 2017 – we should be making sure that regions fully benefit from their cultural riches.
With this year having been designated as The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology we hope that Scotland shows the bold imagination to make Kirkcudbright the home of the hoard.
Agreement could also be reached for the hoard to be displayed at other times in the NMS in Edinburgh and beyond.
Find out more about the allocation process: The Treasure Trove process in Scotland is intended to create a pathway to ensure our archaeological heritage is protected for the benefit of the nation in museum collections across the country. The allocation of archaeological objects to museum collections is an impartial process driven by the Treasure Trove Code of Practice (https://treasuretrovescotland.co.uk/code-of-practice/). The Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel make their recommendation for allocation to the QLTR based on the content of applications presented by museums against criteria set out in the code.