Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 12:55 UK

Heritage trust could lose bequest

Jersey Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum is one of the sites facing closure

A collector who has bequeathed items to Jersey Maritime Museum worth millions of pounds says he is reconsidering his will over concerns the museum may shut.

David Gainsborough Roberts' collection includes a set of keys from a surviving crewman of the Titanic and a section of the flag upon which Nelson died.

However, he is concerned about what would happen to his collection if Jersey Heritage Trust shuts the museum.

He said he does not want his collection split up or moved from Jersey.

The cash-strapped trust, which promotes the island's history and manages seven historic properties, has said that, without extra money, it will have to close some sites.

Lusitania memorabilia

Although the States gave the trust £200,000 in emergency funding in March, there are still concerns that the Hamptonne Country Life Museum and the Maritime Museum could be closed.

Mr Gainsborough Roberts, whose collection also includes a deckchair and lifejacket from the passenger liner Lusitania which sank in 1915, said: "I made my will five years ago bequeathing one of my collections to Jersey Heritage.

"However, I want the collection to stay in Jersey.

"If the Maritime Museum closes I will find another one to take the collection - I've had requests from various museums in America as well as in London."

Jersey Heritage is in negotiations with Jersey States' Education, Sport and Culture department for funding to keep the Maritime Museum and Hamptonne open.

States members have been invited to attend a briefing at the Jersey Museum on Wednesday about the heritage funding situation.

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