Asterix timbers to appear in Jersey coin hoard exhibition

Roman Timber The Asterix wreck timbers have been conserved by the Mary Rose Trust

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Timbers from a Gallo-Roman wreck found off Guernsey will go on display in Jersey later as part of an exhibition.

The wreck of the 3rd Century trading ship Asterix was discovered in the mouth of St Peter Port harbour entrance in the 1980s.

The timbers are to go on display as part of an exhibition about a Celtic hoard of 70,000 coins.

The hoard was found in a field in Jersey by two metal detector enthusiasts in 2012.

The timbers have been undergoing conservation work at the Mary Rose Trust in Portsmouth.

Jersey Heritage Conservator Neil Mahrer Jersey Heritage Conservator Neil Mahrer is working on the design of the exhibit
Jersey Museum The timbers had to be lifted by crane to the third floor gallery of the Jersey Museum
Roman Timber The timbers will be displayed in a cradle alongside a scale model of the ship

Val Nelson, Jersey Heritage Trust Registrar, said the timbers from the Asterix would be on display with a scale model of the original ship.

She said: "This is the first public airing for the timbers, the restoration work has just been completed.

"The coin hoard will be the major part of the exhibition, but we have borrowed objects from Guernsey, Normandy and Brittany to put the hoard in context and show what was happening in this part of the world at the time.

"As well as the timbers, we will have a very special piece from Normandy that is considered a French national treasure."

The timbers had to be lifted into the museum gallery, on the third floor, using a large crane.

The vessel is the "biggest object from Roman Britain and the most intact sea going ship [of its age] found outside the Mediterranean," said Jason Monaghan, director of Guernsey Museums, which owns the wreck.

Artist's impression of Asterix trading ship Objects found on the ship are on display in Guernsey

The whole ship, for which a permanent home has yet to be found, could not be included in the exhibition as it is too large at about 5m (16ft) wide and 17m (56ft) long.

The exhibition opens at the Jersey Museum in St Helier on 2 June. It will visit Guernsey in 2015.

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