Page last updated at 18:29 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Museum 'wants hoard in Midlands'

Gold Anglo-Saxon artefact found in Staffordshire
This gold strip with a Biblical inscription is among the items being valued

The British Museum is keen to see a haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure, which was recently unearthed in Staffordshire, remain in the West Midlands.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the House of Commons the museum was concerned to make sure it remained in the region for people to see.

He was responding to Tamworth MP Brian Jenkins who said the gold should be kept in Tamworth - "the Saxon capital".

The hoard was found by a man with a metal detector in a field in September.

Terry Herbert found the gold, which comprises 1,600 items including sword pommels, helmet parts and processional crosses dating back from the 7th Century, in a farmer's field.

'Seven-figure sum'

Mr Jenkins told the House of Commons the gold should be kept "in the Saxon capital of the kingdom of Mercia - the town of Tamworth".

Some of the collection is currently on display at the British Museum where it is being valued.

Experts have said they believe it is worth a "seven-figure sum".

Councils and government agencies have agreed to combine to raise the money needed to keep the hoard in the West Midlands.

Under the Treasure Act of 1996, Mr Herbert and the landowner will share the monetary value of the hoard, which has to be paid for by the bodies or organisations wishing to display it.

Council leaders from across the region, officials from the Department of Culture Media and Sport, as well as representatives from the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands and the Heritage Lottery Fund have all said they will help to raise the money needed.

An official evaluation is expected to be given at the end of November.

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