Saturday, 4 June 2011
ANCIENT GOLD RETURNS TO WALES
In 1899, James Marston wedged a metal bar into a crevice on Gwastedyn Hill as he tried to disturb a fox for his dog to chase. He discovered a Roman ring, bracelet and necklet from the 1st or 2nd Century. The second gold discovery was made a generation later by 17-year-old labourer John Smith as he helped to plough a field in 1954. The Bronze Age bracelets (from the National Museum in Cardiff) and Roman jewellery (from the British Museum in London) are on loan to the CARAD Rhayader Museum and Gallery. The exhibition has received a grant from Cyfoeth Cymru Gyfan (also known as the Sharing Treasures Scheme), a Welsh Government scheme to display treasures from national collections in regional museums. This is good news, but, one has to wonder how much archaeological plunder found in or from Wales can be found tucked away in the dusty draws of various museums (in Cardiff) and in London. Isn't it about time that much of this archaeological and historical plunder was returned to Wales, as we do actually have museums of our own where our own country's archaeological and historical treasures can and should be displayed?