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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 12:28 GMT
Hoard adds weight to museum bid
Mold Cape, British Museum
The 4,000-year-old Mold Cape could move back to Flintshire
Calls for a national museum for north east Wales have intensified following the find of an "exceptional" hoard of Bronze Age treasure in Wrexham.

The 14 pieces of priceless gold and bronze jewellery and pottery, dating back more than 3,000 years, were a recent find by three metal detector enthusiasts.

Archaeologists are excited about the latest discovery in the area home to the 4,000 year-old gold Mold cape, thought to have belonged to a nobleman and found in 1833.

Campaigners for a museum for the region say the latest treasure discovery strengthens their argument.

"The find in Wrexham couldn't come at a better time," said businessman Adrian Barsby.

We could create a visitor's attraction and it could be financially viable
Adrian Barsby

"It does lend weight to the argument that Bronze Age is a crucial part of the region's history."

A feasibility study has been carried out to see whether a museum would be viable.

Mr Barsby, who runs the Beaufort Park Hotel in Mold said the independent study - partly financed by the Welsh Development Agency and the Wales Tourist Board - proved there was a need for a regional museum.

"We could create a visitor's attraction and it could be financially viable," Mr Barsby said.

Campaigners want the museum should be based in Mold because they say it would have the gold cape which takes its name from the town as its centrepiece.

The priceless gold cape is widely regarded as one of the finest pieces of craftsmanship from the Bronze Age period.

The cape is made from the equivalent of 23-carat gold and weighs one kilogram.

Bronze Age treasure
Bronze Age treasure was previously uncovered in Wrexham

A replica is displayed at the heritage centre and museum in Mold but the original is at the British Museum in London.

Mr Barsby believes the British Museum would loan the artefact if north east Wales had its own museum.

"Ownership is with the British Museum but they have said that provided there is a venue sufficiently secure they wouldn't have a problem," he said.

It is hoped the museum, which will be funded through private and public money, will open by 2008.

The latest group of artefacts recently discovered in Wrexham were buried between 1300 and 1100 BC as a gift to the gods.

The National Museum & Galleries of Wales in Cardiff has the treasure and is preparing a report for coroner's inquest to consider whether it should be declared treasure trove.

The treasures include a torc (bangle) and bracelet, a necklace pendant and a collection of beads and rings, all made of gold.

In January 2002, two metal detector enthusiasts from Wrexham found gold bracelet fragments, a bronze axe and a dagger - the first of its kind to be discovered in Wales.

Fight on for new museum
24 Oct 03  |  Wales
Fresh Bronze Age treasure find
04 Mar 04  |  North East Wales


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