Mildenhall Treasure Great Dish loaned to Ipswich

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Media captionThe Mildenhall Great Dish is about to go on display in Ipswich

A Roman silver dish is returning to Suffolk for the first time since its discovery in 1942.

The British Museum in London is loaning the Mildenhall Great Dish to Ipswich's Christchurch Mansion, from 26 July until 31 October.

The 34-piece Mildenhall silver collection is in the British Museum's top 10 list of British treasures.

A replica set of the collection has been permanently on display at Mildenhall Museum since 2001.

The Mildenhall Treasure is believed to date from the 4th Century.

The solid silver dish, which depicts the myth of Bacchus, is 24in (60cm) in diameter.

'Beautiful item'

It will be displayed with other Roman Suffolk treasures including the Wickham Market gold coin hoard, the Cavenham crowns and the Holbrook horse harness pendants.

Image caption The Mildenhall Great Dish was found in a ploughed field in 1942

Jayne Austin, development manager at Ipswich Museums, which runs Christchuch Mansion, said: "Treasures such as this automatically went to the British Museum but they are leading the way in making collections more accessible around the country.

"The British Museum is working with us to help support the ongoing development of Ipswich Museums.

"This is a great opportunity for people to see this beautiful item free of charge in the local area."

Norma Chapman, a trustee at Mildenhall Museum, said: "We're still not sure about its significance and mystery surrounds who owned it, although it was obviously a very important, wealthy person who had tableware like this.

"We're hoping people might be inspired to visit our collection after seeing the original."

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