New Gallery at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery Celebrates ‘vital’ Staffordshire Hoard
• New gallery exploring the Staffordshire Hoard opens 17 October 2014
• UK’s largest permanent display of the incredible Anglo-Saxon treasure
• Staffordshire Hoard is ‘vital’ to Birmingham’s thriving visitor economy
This October, a new gallery uncovering the fascinating story of the Staffordshire Hoard opens at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Visitors can learn more about this incredible treasure, from its Anglo-Saxon warrior history, to the ongoing conservation techniques used to unlock its secrets today.
The Staffordshire Hoard is a significant element of Birmingham’s incredible civic collection and important in attracting both citizens and visitors to the city to the museum. When it was first displayed back in 2009, in just 19 days over 42,000 people from the region and further afield came to see this exciting treasure. Now, five years on, well over a million people have seen the hoard in the various displays and exhibitions across the globe.
In this new gallery, hundreds of pieces from the Hoard will be on show, along with hands-on displays exploring how these intriguing items were used, before they were buried some 1500 years ago. Visitors can find out about the exquisite craftsmanship used to create the items in the hoard, and learn how the designs of the objects can be linked to many regions across Europe.
Visitors can get to grips with microscopes and see some of the unusual tools that a conservator uses while working with these precious objects. In addition, visitors can peek into Anglo-Saxon England in the ‘Mead Hall’ showing how a 7thcentury Lord and his warriors once lived.
Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, said:
Culture is a key driver of tourism to Birmingham and the wider region; nearly a third (30%) of tourists visit for its eclectic cultural scene and almost half (45%) of those who have visited in the last five years agree that Birmingham is home to world-class arts and culture.
Birmingham and the region is host to countless independent festivals, world class musical performances and unique exhibitions. With record visitor figures of 34 million in 2013, the city’s cultural assets, like the Staffordshire Hoard, are vital to Birmingham’s visitor economy, which is now worth a record £5.34 billion.
Ellen McAdam, Director of Birmingham Museums comments:
The Staffordshire Hoard is one of Birmingham’s most popular collections, and this new gallery will give visitors an even greater access to this unique find. Last year alone, over 100K people from across the world came to see the Hoard at the museum, and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors in years to come.
The Staffordshire Hoard was discovered near the village of Hammerwich (Staffordshire) in 2009 by local metal detectorist Terry Herbert, with further items excavated by archaeologists in 2012. It remains Britain’s largest Treasure case, and one of the most important Anglo-Saxon finds ever made, consisting of gold, silver and garnet decorative fittings dating to the 7th century AD. Many of the pieces come from swords and other weaponry, but there are also several Christian items, as well as ‘mystery’ objects, which continue to intrigue experts and visitors alike.
The Staffordshire Hoard is jointly owned by Birmingham City Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council. It was acquired in 2010 with the generous support of the Art Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund, as well as the UK’s largest ever, public donation. Development of the new gallery has been made possible thanks to funding by Heritage Lottery Fund, Garfield Weston and Arts Council England. Birmingham Museums Trust is continuously fundraising for the conservation of and research into this unique find. To support the Staffordshire Hoard, you can call the Development department on 0121 675 1203, visit www.justgiving.com/Staffordshire-Hoard or texting STAF09 £5 to 70070.
To find out more visit www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk.
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