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Viking treasures heading home

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By Abbey Morton
Dumfries and West
Viking treasures heading home

A PRICELESS collection of Viking-age treasures unearthed in the region are to go on display in Kirkcudbright.

Having previously appeared at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, the hoard will come ‘home’ in August next year.

It was found in Galloway in 2014 by Ayrshire detectorist Derek McLennan.

He uncovered the initial layers and it became clear it was one of the country’s most astounding finds.

A local archaeologist began to release more items, such as Viking and Early Christina gold and silver, but the full extent of the treasure was not revealed until an x-ray showed the content of the Carolingian pot – and beautiful beads and brooches appeared on screen.

Over the last two years the experts and the National Museums of Scotland (NMS) have been painstakingly cleaning and conserving much of the hoard, and many of the 100 plus items are now ready to be presented to the public in a specially designed exhibition.

Cllr Andy Fergusson said: “I have been lucky enough to have seen the Galloway Hoard soon after its discovery and I know first-hand how beautiful it is.

“I am very excited that in working in partnership with NMS, our council is able to bring the hoard to the people of Dumfries and Galloway in what will be an inspiring, free exhibition for all ages.”

And vice chairman John Martin commented: “This exhibition will be one of the key projects in the economic recovery of our region in 2021.

“The council intends to use it as one of the focal points to support the region, encouraging engagement from locals and visitors and giving a much needed boast to hard-hit local businesses.”

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has welcomed the news, having previously been involved in the development of the art gallery in Kirkcudbright.

He said: “Although I remain disappointed over the decision to award the Galloway Viking hoard to the National Museums Scotland instead of being shown permanently in Kirkcudbright I am delighted local people will be able to view it for themselves.”

Photo: NMS

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