Fight to bring the Galloway Viking hoard home

Metal detectorist Derek McLennan, from Ayrshire, discovered a haul of Viking treasure in Galloway (Gaelic: Gall-Ghàidhealaibh) in 2014. The value of the treasure runs to hundreds of thousands of pounds. There is now a heated discussion taking place about where to house the the Viking treasure hoard involving Dumfries and Galloway Council and National Museums Scotland (NMS). The Council wants to house the artefacts in a new art gallery being built in Kirkcudbright (Gaelic: Cille Chuithbeirt) but NMS is also bidding for the hoard.

Now a petition with 5,000-signatures has been presented to the Scottish Parliament in support of the Dumfries and Galloway Council claim to house the hoard in the new Kirkcudbright gallery. However, National Museums Scotland is also bidding to host the artefacts. A meeting takes place on Thursday to discuss their fate.

The Galloway Viking Hoard (GVH) group is backing the council's bid to ensure the hoard ends up in Kirkcudbright. As reported by BBC Scotland, Cathy Agnew, who chairs the campaign, said: "The message from Galloway, Scotland and around the world is very clear - the hoard was buried in Galloway for safekeeping 1,000 years ago and that is where its home should be.

"We have huge support from the general public, academics, politicians of all parties and many others.

"It would be a travesty if their voices were ignored."

However National Museums Scotland has said it believed it had put forward a "mutually-beneficial and positive proposal", that would allow for part of the hoard to go on display permanently in Kirkcudbright and the entire collection to be hosted, on occasions, by the gallery.

This area of southwest Scotland has strong Norse-Gael traditions. At one time known as the Kingdom of Galloway, at periods it covered a much larger area than the present area that we know as Galloway. Including parts of southern Ayrshire (Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), Carrick (Scottish Gaelic: A' Charraig), Nithsdale (Scottish Gaelic: Strath Nid), The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright (Scottish Gaelic: Cille Chuithbeirt), Nithsdale; Scottish (Gaelic: Srath Nid) and beyond. The Gaelic origins of the name of Galloway gives an indication of the strong influence of Norse-Gaels (people of Gaelic and Scandinavian origin). As such, for a significant period it was associated with the other Norse-Gael lands of the Hebrides, Isle of Man, Dublin and the Kingdom of Man and the Isles.

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