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Monday, 28 January, 2002, 12:19 GMT
Locals plead: 'Return our heritage'
gold cape replica
Mold's gold cape is housed in London
The British Museum has been urged to hand back a 4000-year-old bronze age artefact to north east Wales.

Mold's gold cape was found in a grave along with the bones of a man and a number of amber beads more than 160 years ago - by workmen digging in a field known locally as Bryn yr Ellyllon.

mold town centre
Politicians want to house the cape in Mold

The finely embossed gold cloak is regarded as one of the finest surviving examples of bronze age craftsmanship in the world.

It would have fitted over the shoulders, upper arms and body of its wearer and it is thought to have been used for ceremonial occasions.

A replica of this priceless artefact is displayed at the heritage centre and museum in Mold.

The orginal has been held in London because museums locally are not secure enough to display it.

But locals are fighting back and calls have been made by Welsh Assembly member Alison Halford to build a museum in the region.

She said: "If north Wales had such a museum we would be able to make a legitimate claim for the return of the Gold Cape of Mold."

One would hope that with the improved security in one of them we would be in a position to perhaps reclaim this cloak

Jenny Randerson, AM

Had we a proper museum then the British Museum would be able to allow us it back which would be useful for tourism and economic development," she added.

Welsh culture minister Jenny Randerson has provided extra funding to the council of museums to develop two heritage centres.

She has said one of those should be in north Wales.

"There are 34 museums in north Wales which are members of the council for museums.

Bronze Age

"I would very much hope one of those would be appropriate for the additional funding to provide the security needed for the more valuable artefacts."

Ms Randerson added: "One would hope that with the improved security in one of them we would be in a position to perhaps reclaim this cloak."

See also:

15 Jan 02 | Arts
Elgin Marbles 'staying' in UK
10 Mar 01 | Europe
Hand stolen from British Museum
18 Jun 01 | Wales
'Brymbo Man' meets his public
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