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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 February 2006, 12:26 GMT
Luton fights New York in jug war
Wenlok Jug
The jug was found at Lord Hesketh's Northamptonshire home
A medieval jug is likely to stay in Britain after a David and Goliath struggle between a small museum and the mighty New York Metropolitan Museum.

Luton Museums, with 2,500 a year for new exhibits, is getting 590,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

This will help to match the 750,000 price offered by the world-famous "Met" for the Wenlok Jug.

Luton museum's fund has received 160,000 already from the National Art Collections Fund and local supporters.

The 12in (31cm) high bronze tankard, which dates from the 14th or 15th Century, bears an inscription to "My Lord Wenlok" - thought to be one of two men connected with the Bedfordshire town.

More funds needed

The jug was sold by Sotheby's last year as part of the property of Lord Hesketh, and was then offered to the Met by London dealer Daniel Katz.

In October, culture minister David Lammy put a temporary export ban on it, after experts ruled it was of "outstanding significance" for the ongoing study of bronze-working in medieval England.

Museums service manager Maggie Appleton said: "This is a huge boost from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

"We now have just a small amount to raise in the next three weeks to make up the full amount.

"But as we've had significant interest from elsewhere, we are confident we'll be bringing the jug home to Luton."

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20 May 05 |  Northamptonshire
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