South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has urged the Scottish Government to intervene to ensure that the internationally acclaimed Viking treasure hoard discovered in Dumfries and Galloway in 2014 is housed in the region .
The local MSP Colin Smyth has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop, calling on her to broker an agreement with National Museums Scotland to ensure the hoard is housed in the new art gallery being built in Kirkcudbright.
As a result of the failure of National Museums Scotland to reach agreement with the council over the future of the hoard, Councillors on Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee (7 March 2017) agreed to continue with developing a rival bid to the National Museums Scotland bid to buy the hoard.
Colin Smyth said, “The Council are right to be sceptical over any offer from National Museums Scotland. When they closed the Museum of Costume at Shambellie House we were promised allsorts from them in terms of local exhibitions and that hasn’t really materialised. At the end of the day National Museums Scotland is a body established by the government and that’s why I am urging the Cabinet Secretary of Culture Fiona Hyslop to make clear what the Government’s position is on the future of the Viking hoard. She should intervene to broker a deal that will ensure it is displayed where it was found and that means Dumfries and Galloway. The government needs to show that we actually have a National Museums Scotland interested in more than the central belt. Having a display of such international importance permanently on display in the region will allow us to market the exhibition properly, which you won’t be able to do if it is left up to National Museums Scotland to decide if and when any part of the hoard is displayed locally. Displaying the hoard in Kirkcudbright would be also be a huge boost to the local economy by attracting more visitors which you simply wouldn’t get if the hoard is on display in Edinburgh, lost among the many other displays”.