More than 30,000 visitors saw the display, the largest number since the venue opened its doors four years ago.

The Galloway Hoard will remain on display at Kirkcudbright Galleries until July 10, and it will be moved to Aberdeen Art Gallery from July 30.

About the Galloway hoard

The Galloway Hoard is the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland.

It was discovered in 2014 and acquired by National Museums Scotland in 2017 with the support of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, the Scottish government, and a major public fundraising campaign.

Since then, it has been undergoing extensive conservation and research at Edinburgh's National Museums Collection Centre.  

A rare opportunity

The exhibition is a rare opportunity for visitors to see Viking-era objects that were hidden for over a millennium - after they have gone through conservation and cleaning.

It was updated six months ago with a digital display that describes new research into a special rock crystal jar, part of the hoard which remained in Edinburgh for study purposes.

After the textiles were removed, they revealed a Latin inscription written in gold. The inscription says the jar was made for a bishop named Hyguald.

It is the most apparent evidence that some of the material in the hoard may have come from a church in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, which included Dumfries and Galloway, and stretched as far north as Edinburgh and as far south as Sheffield.

The Galloway Hoard is on display at Kirkcudbright Galleries. Photo: Neil Hanna

"Delighted at the success"

 "We are delighted at the success of 'Galloway Hoard: Viking-age Treasure,' both in the number of visitors it has attracted and the hugely positive public response to the exhibition.

"It has been a pleasure to work with our colleagues at Kirkcudbright Galleries, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration around the Galloway hoard for many years to come," Chris Breward, Director of National Museums Scotland, said, according to a press release from the National Museums Scotland .

 "We're pleased to have assisted in funding the tour of this incredible treasure trove of items from the Viking Age.

"Exhibitions like this really bring history to life, and I'm delighted that so many people have seen the Galloway hoard while it's been on display at the Kirkcudbright Galleries.

"I would urge anyone who hasn't seen it yet to do so before it moves on to the Aberdeen Art Gallery," Culture Minister Neil Gray added.

A landmark figure

 "This landmark figure of 30,000 visitors is a great yardstick for why our Council worked so hard to host this wonderful exhibition.

"Despite the exhibition 'coming home' in the middle of a pandemic, the visitor numbers that the Hoard exhibition has attracted is a real positive for our fantastic Kirkcudbright Galleries facility, as well as the region as a whole," Councillor Archie Dryburgh, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council's Communities Committee, stated.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) recently awarded GBP 1 million in support for a research project into the Galloway hoard, named "Unwrapping the Galloway Hoard," led by National Museums Scotland in partnership with the University of Glasgow. The project was launched in mid-2021.

Eventually, the hoard will go on long-term display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

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