Galloway Viking treasure hoard set for homecoming

Image source, National Museums Scotland
Image caption,
The hoard will come back to southern Scotland - where it was unearthed - next summer

A haul of Viking-era treasure found by a metal detectorist in Galloway in 2014 will return to the area next summer.

It will go on show in Kirkcudbright after first appearing at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

It was originally intended to be put on display this year but that was cancelled due to coronavirus.

National Museums Scotland described it as "the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland".

The hoard was discovered in 2014 in Galloway by metal detectorist Derek McLennan from Ayrshire.

Image source, Colin Hattersley
Image caption,
Kirkcudbright will host the collection between August 2021 and May 2022

A dispute over where it should go on permanent display was eventually resolved in favour of Edinburgh over Dumfries and Galloway.

It was intended to go on show in the capital this year but that will now take place between February and May 2021.

After that it will come "home" to Kirkcudbright between August 2021 and May 2022.

The Scottish government put funding in place towards the touring exhibition, including the conservation work being undertaken to allow it to take place.

It is part of a wider exhibition programme for 2021 just announced by National Museums Scotland.

Director Dr Chris Breward said: "The Galloway hoard embodies one of our core strengths as the global centre for Scottish history and archaeology."

The exhibition will reveal the detailed conservation work which has been carried out on the collection.

Image source, National Museums Scotland
Image caption,
Detailed conservation work has been carried out on the collection

It will also look at the research discoveries made so far and "some of the mysteries that scholars will keep working to solve now and for many years to come".

Andy Ferguson, who chairs the communities committee of Dumfries and Galloway Council, welcomed the news.

"I have been lucky enough to have seen the Galloway hoard soon after its discovery and I know first-hand how beautiful it is," he said.

"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."

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