Birmingham City Council

Gold Rush at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Gold Rush at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) was at the centre of a gold-rush this morning as hundreds of people jostled for a first view of the now world famous Staffordshire Hoard.

Almost 1,000 people arrived to see the Anglo-Saxon treasures within the first hour and, with massive interest across the globe, museum staff are bracing themselves for a hectic weekend.

A selection of artefacts from the Hoard are on display at BMAG before being transferred to the British Museum for valuation on October 13.

And, as the museum opened at 10.30am, the queue from the front entrance stretched across Chamberlain Square and beyond Birmingham Central Library.

Leader of Birmingham City Council Mike Whitby said: “The international coverage for this story has been amazing, so it’s hardly surprising that people were queuing outside Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery before we opened this morning.

“I’ve been privileged enough to get up close to this stuff and it’s certainly worth a visit. The levels of craftsmanship are exquisite and the excitement among the experts will certainly be mirrored by excitement from the general public. It’s amazing to think that this exhibition contains objects that have been buried for around 1,300 years.”

Councillor Martin Mullaney, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture added: “I am delighted that we can show a selection of these items at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. It’s incredibly exciting for the city and the region as local people will be the first to see these historic items.

“As an added bonus, if they come along this weekend they get to see the last two days of the hugely successful Matthew Boulton exhibition.”

The Staffordshire Hoard is an unparalleled treasure find dating from Anglo-Saxon times. Both the quality and the quantity of this unique treasure are remarkable.

The Hoard was first discovered in July 2009. The find is likely to spark decades of debate among archaeologists, historians and enthusiasts.

The Hoard comprises in excess of 1,500 individual items.

  • Most are gold, although some are silver.
  • Many are decorated with precious stones.
  • The quality of the craftsmanship displayed on many items is supreme, indicating possible royal ownership.
  • The Hoard is the by far the largest find of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. There is approximately 5 kg of gold and 2.5kg of silver (Sutton Hoo had 1.66kg of gold).


The Staffordshire Hoard Exhibition

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH

Tel: +44 (0)121 303 2834


Admission: Free.


Opening Times:

Monday - Thursday 10.00am - 5.00pm

Friday 10.30am - 5.00pm

Sat 10.00am - 5.00pm

Sunday 12.30pm - 5.00pm

ENDS

Staffordshire Hoard Press Pack (pdf ver)

Images can be downloaded from flickr via the following link.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/finds/sets/72157622378376316/

For further information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

  • Category:
  • Reference number: 421-GC
  • Issue date: 25 September 2009