Page last updated at 13:21 GMT, Monday, 28 September 2009 14:21 UK

Treasure visited by 10,500 people

Crowds visit items from the Staffordshire Hoard
The artefacts are on show in Birmingham until 13 October

A display of the UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure has attracted 10,500 visitors in three days.

Some of the 1,300 gold and silver items went on show at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Friday.

The artefacts, which may date to the 7th Century, were discovered by Terry Herbert, 55, using a metal detector in a farmer's field in Staffordshire.

Birmingham City Council said it would try to raise the seven-figure sum to keep the hoard in the Midlands.

Councillor Martin Mullaney, the council's head of culture, said the British Museum had indicated its support for the collection staying in the region.

'Lengthy queues'

He said he hoped to work closely with Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council to raise the money.

Experts have said the whole collection is worth "a seven-figure sum" but the hoard has not yet been officially valued.

Gold Anglo-Saxon artefacts found in Staffordshire
The hoard is the largest Anglo-Saxon collection of gold found in the UK

The display will be at the museum until 13 October and will then be taken to the British Museum for valuation along with the rest of the items.

Mr Herbert, of Burntwood, Staffordshire, and the anonymous landowner will share the proceeds between them.

Mr Mullaney said: "Lengthy queues over the weekend and massive worldwide media coverage clearly indicate the huge amounts of interest in these artefacts and we believe these objects would significantly contribute to the ongoing development of our collections.

"To that end, I hope to shortly announce details of a fundraising campaign and in the meantime visitors to the exhibition can contribute using the collection boxes located around the museum.

"Museums these days have a good track record in terms of raising large sums of money to add to their collections, something that was clearly illustrated in the campaign to keep Titian's Diana and Actaeon for the nation."

The Staffordshire Hoard is far bigger than the Sutton Hoo discovery in 1939, when 1.5kg of Anglo-Saxon gold was found near Woodbridge in Suffolk.

It has been hailed as a "fantastically important discovery" which will redefine perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England.

It includes a large number of sword pommels and hilt plates.



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