Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Friday, 5 March 2010

Staffordshire Hoard popularity forces museum queue cuts

Prince Charles and Camilla inspect the Staffordshire Hoard gold at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
Royal visitors inspected the Staffordshire Hoard last month

A museum exhibiting artefacts from the £3.3m Staffordshire Hoard has had to close the queue to visitors early due to the popularity of the display.

About 80 of the 1,500 artefacts from the Anglo-Saxon gold went on show last month at the Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent.

But officials had to turn away new visitors at 1300 GMT in Friday when the wait had reached four hours.

The treasure is on display at the museum until Sunday.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have been among the visitors to so far see the exhibition.

The items were found by metal-detecting enthusiast Terry Herbert in July.

Campaigners hope to raise £3.3m to make sure the hoard remains in the West Midlands otherwise it could be bought by private collectors.

The campaign to raise the cash was launched in January by historian Dr David Starkey.

More than 40,000 people saw the hoard, described as the UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure, when it went on show in Birmingham in September.

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