Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009

'No tax cash' for treasure hoard

Gold Anglo-Saxon artefact found in Staffordshire
This gold strip with a Biblical inscription is one of 1,500 items in the hoard

Birmingham council taxpayers will not have to pay to acquire a haul of 7th Century Anglo-Saxon treasure, according to plans by the city's authority.

The hoard, valued at £3.285m, was unearthed in Staffordshire.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent are both hoping to buy the treasure from the Crown.

Birmingham City Council said at the moment it was intending "not to dip into" local council taxpayers' funds.

The value of the hoard, the largest Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found, was set by a committee of experts.

'Lot of pressure'

The money will be split between Terry Herbert, 55, of Burntwood, in Staffordshire, who found the hoard, and Fred Johnson, who owns the farm where it was discovered.

The haul comprises 1,600 items including sword pommels, helmet parts and processional crosses.

Birmingham City Council said it had raised nearly £40,000 from public fundraising and would be looking to get money through various various public and private organisations.

Councillor Martin Mullaney, cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture, said: "The vast majority [of the money] will come through various heritage organisations."

Mr Mullaney said meetings have been taking place with various groups, including the British Museum and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

He added: "We've got four months in which to raise this money. It's going to be very challenging. It's a lot of pressure.

"The economic benefits will be absolutely enormous. You saw the queues when we had them at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and [they] will be going to Stoke in February."

Birmingham City Council said the authority and Stoke-on-Trent City Council would have to raise the full £3.285m.

Mr Johnson has said he had not made any plans for the money but did not think he would be leaving his farm.

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