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14 March 2004
Hoard adds weight to Northeastern Welsh museum bid

Calls for a national museum for north east Wales have intensified following the find of an "exceptional" hoard of Bronze Age treasure in Wrexham (see the article we published on 5 March 2004). The 14 pieces of priceless gold and bronze jewellery and pottery, dating back more than 3,000 years, were a recent find by three metal detector enthusiasts. Archaeologists are excited about the latest discovery in the area home to the 4,000 year-old gold Mold cape, thought to have belonged to a nobleman and found in 1833.
     Campaigners for a museum for the region say the latest treasure discovery strengthens their argument. "It does lend weight to the argument that Bronze Age is a crucial part of the region's history." A feasibility study has been carried out to see whether a museum would be viable. Mr Barsby, who runs the Beaufort Park Hotel in Mold said the independent study - partly financed by the Welsh Development Agency and the Wales Tourist Board - proved there was a need for a regional museum. "We could create a visitor's attraction and it could be financially viable," Mr Barsby said.
     Campaigners want the museum should be based in Mold because they say it would have the gold cape which takes its name from the town as its centrepiece. The priceless gold cape, made from the equivalent of 23-carat gold and weighing one kilogram, is widely regarded as one of the finest pieces of craftsmanship from the Bronze Age period. A replica is displayed at the heritage centre and museum in Mold but the original is at the British Museum in London. Mr Barsby believes the British Museum would loan the artefact if north east Wales had its own museum. "Ownership is with the British Museum but they have said that provided there is a venue sufficiently secure they wouldn't have a problem," he said. It is hoped the museum, which will be funded through private and public money, will open by 2008.

Source: BBC News (10 march 2004)

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