Dr Rory Naismith writes:
On 23 March the National Heritage Memorial Fund pledged the final £1.285 million needed to reach the purchase price of £3.3 million set by a Treasure Valuation Committee in November 2009 for the Staffordshire hoard of 1,600 early Anglo-Saxon gold and silver objects. This news comes three weeks ahead of the scheduled deadline for the fundraising campaign. Donations contributing towards this goal have come from a range of sources, including the Art Fund, Birmingham and Stoke city councils and a successful public appeal, one anonymous donor to which gave £50,000.
Despite this important and extremely welcome step, fundraising efforts are set to continue, aiming now for the estimated £1.7 million needed by the hoard's future custodians (Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery and Stoke Museums) to undertake proper conservation, study and display to the public. Purchase of the hoard for the nation thus hardly marks the end of the interest and activity which it has generated: its acquisition paves the way for detailed investigation and long-term exhibition to begin in earnest.
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