Martin Goldberg

Q&A with Martin Goldberg

Simon Stephens, 06.11.2017
National Museums Scotland on the Galloway Hoard acquisition
Martin Goldberg is the principal curator, medieval archaeology and history, at National Museums Scotland.

Last week National Museums Scotland achieved its fundraising target of £1.98m to acquire the Galloway Hoard of Viking-age treasures. This included £1m from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, £150,000 from the Scottish Government and widespread public donations.

How was the Galloway Hoard found?

The Galloway Hoard was uncovered by a metal detectorist in Dumfries and Galloway. On discovery, the finder immediately contacted the Treasure Trove Unit, which organised the recovery of the hoard.

What is the significance of the hoard?

The Galloway Hoard is an unparalleled treasure hoard of gold, silver and other items, featuring the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland. It comprises more than 100 gold, silver and other items which were buried at the beginning of the tenth century.

The hoard is unique in bringing together a remarkable variety of objects in one discovery, hinting at hitherto unknown connections between people across Europe and beyond. Incredibly, fragile textiles, leather and wooden fragments have also survived, providing an extremely rare opportunity to research and reveal many lost aspects of the Viking-age.

What made the fundraising campaign successful?

After being allocated the Galloway Hoard by the Crown Office we launched a campaign to save it for the nation. We displayed objects from the Hoard in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh alongside a film and strong fundraising messaging.

People were able to donate by text message, online, through donation boxes and using contactless payment. We sought support from our members, patrons and donors, and reached a wide audience through social media, supported by high-profile individuals. Alongside this, we applied to major funders: Art Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Scottish Government.

Their remarkable support, alongside the donations we received, completed the campaign two weeks ahead of its deadline. More than 1,500 people contributed, as well as countless visitors who donated in the museum.

How will the hoard be used in the future?

We anticipate it will take two years to conserve the hoard so that it is ready for temporary display at the National Museum of Scotland before embarking on a tour across Scotland. The research into this fantastic collection of objects will be ongoing for years to come.