News release - Issued by JORVIK Group
On display at JORVIK Viking Centre from 8 April to 7 May 2017
One of York’s historic treasures is set to return to the place where it was found in April, as the York Helmet – an Anglian helmet buried during the Viking occupation of York – returns to Coppergate, where it will go on display at JORVIK Viking Centre for the first four weeks of its re-opening.
The helmet is usually on public display in the Yorkshire Museum, but with work due to start in April on their new Viking-themed exhibition which opens in May, York Museums Trust has loaned it to JORVIK to feature in its newly redesigned gallery.
“Although itself not strictly Viking, it is likely that it was appropriated and used by one of the Viking settlers into the late ninth century. It is a prestigious piece of armour, so it could have been buried in its wood-lined pit by the new owner to hide it, but for some reason, was never reclaimed, and remained underground until the very last excavations of the Coppergate dig in 1982,” comments director of attractions for York Archaeological Trust, Sarah Maltby. “We are looking forward to bringing the helmet back in Coppergate– it is a real treat for those visiting during our first month of re-opening that they will see it in almost exactly the same spot as it was unearthed.”
Indeed, York Archaeological Trust and York Museums Trust are working closely with local tourism body, Visit York on York’s year-long Year of the Viking campaign, aiming to draw more visitors to the city. “Nowhere else in England celebrates it Norse heritage with quite as much enthusiasm as York, and with items from the British Museum’s incredible collections going on display alongside our own treasures in the city this year, it 2017 is the perfect time and place for anyone with an interest in the Viking period,” adds Sarah.
Following its four-week residency in JORVIK Viking Centre, the helmet will return to the Yorkshire Museum as part of the ‘Viking: Rediscover the Legend’ major new exhibition (May 19-Nov 5 2017). Featuring some of the most significant Viking finds ever discovered in the UK, this major exhibition, in partnership with the British Museum, will then tour the country.
Reyahn King, chief executive of York Museums Trust, said: “This year York celebrates its Viking heritage with two incredibly exciting events. The reopening of a new JORVIK Viking Centre is a significant boost for the city’s cultural offer and the major new exhibition VIKING at the Yorkshire Museum will see some of the most spectacular Viking treasure in the country brought together for the first time. We expect thousands of people will visit in the Year of the Viking to discover how life in Britain was transformed by the Vikings’ arrival, bringing conquest but also amazing craftsmanship, new customs, and fascinating stories.”
For more information on JORVIK Viking Centre, including details of how to prebook, please visit www.jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk. More details about Viking: Rediscover the Legend at the Yorkshire Museum are available at www.yorkshiremuseum.org.uk.
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