Gallery called on to stage Staffordshire Hoard display

An exhibition about the Staffordshire Hoard should be staged at The New Art Gallery Walsall to help highlight the town’s links to it, campaigners have said.

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They are now set to quiz council chiefs over why there has so far been no exhibition about the Hoard at the gallery. A question is due to be asked about the issue at Monday night’s meeting of Walsall Council. A group has been set up with the aim to highlight the Staffordshire Hoard’s links to Walsall, in particular the Brownhills area.

The Hoard – the largest ever collection of Anglo Saxon gold ever found in the UK – was found in Hammerwich and on the border with Brownhills in July 2009.

Brownhills resident Doug Birch is set to ask why no such exhibition has yet been held at the New Art Gallery, despite calls for it.

He claims an exhibition at The Potteries Museum in Stoke is pulling in high visitor numbers and a similar display in Walsall would “contribute significantly to the regeneration and reputation of Walsall borough as well as providing residents with a good reason to visit the publicly-funded gallery.”

Mr Birch, who has compiled historical information about the Hoard and its links to Brownhills, said: “Walsall has been very slow in taking up the possibility of an exhibition on the Hoard.

“We feel this is still something that should be pursued.

“We feel Brownhills and Ogley Hay has a very close affinity with the Staffordshire Hoard and this needs to be recognised more.”

Mr Birch is also set to ask the council to support plans for a some kind of monument to mark the place where the Staffordshire Hoard was discovered.

The idea is the brainchild of Brownhills resident Brian Stringer who says he was inspired by a memorial at Dealey Plaza, in Dallas, where John F Kennedy was shot in 1963.