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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 December, 2004, 13:56 GMT
National art treasures go local
A portrait of Gwen John
Gwen John's work is displayed in the National Museums and Galleries of Wales.
People in north Wales will soon be able to view some of the country's national art treasures in their local galleries.

A new partnership has been formed to make Wales' art archive more accessible to people outside Cardiff.

Five venues will soon be displaying artefacts and three of the new centres are in north Wales.

Dr Anne Gosse from Denbighshire County Council said the new scheme is "fabulous" and will benefit many.

Participating venues
Ruthin Craft Centre
Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno
Bodelwyddan Castle
Oriel Davies, Newtown
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea

The Visual Arts Partnership has been set up with funding from the National Museums and Galleries, Wales(NMGW), the Arts Council, the venues taking part in the scheme and the Esmee Fairburn Foundation.

The foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities across the UK.

Ruthin Craft Centre will be one of the centres set to inherit some of the countries treasures alongside Oriel Mostyn in Llandudno and Bodelwyddan Castle near St Asaph.

"It's fabulous.....these three venues will be able to work together," said Dr Gosse.

"I think there is genuine interest from the public and some of these national treasures are exquisite."

Dr Gosse said Ruthin Craft Centre is renowned for its ceramics and she would therefore expect the centre to benefit from similar works currently housed in the National Museums and Galleries of Wales in Cardiff.

Wales has a wealth of national treasures but until now you would have to go to Cardiff if you wanted to see them
Alun Pugh, AM

However, Ms Gosse said she believes what artefacts will be leaving Wales' capital city have not yet been finalised.

Michael Tooby from NMGW said he hopes the 185,000 scheme will "continue to develop in years to come".

The new partnership was officially unveiled on Thursday by the Welsh Culture Minister Alun Pugh.

"Wales has a wealth of national treasures but until now you would have to go to Cardiff if you wanted to see them," he said.

Earlier this year calls for a national museum for north east Wales intensified following the find of an "exceptional" hoard of Bronze Age treasure in Wrexham.

The 14 pieces of priceless gold and bronze jewellery and pottery, dating back more than 3,000 years, were found by three metal detector enthusiasts.

Campaigners for a museum for the region said the latest treasure discovery strengthened their argument.

Hoard adds weight to museum bid
10 Mar 04 |  North East Wales
Fight on for new museum
24 Oct 03 |  Wales
Thousands apply for arts tickets
09 Nov 04 |  South West Wales
Gwen John's work on display
07 Mar 04 |  South West Wales

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