Tuesday, 01 December 2015

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Plans to bring Roman helmet back to Carlisle

Moves are already afoot to bring the Crosby Garrett Roman helmet back to Carlisle.

Crosby Garrett Roman helmet photo
Luke Mason and sister Demi admire the helmet

The rare artefact is to be packed up and taken to the British Museum on Monday morning following a hugely successful four-month stay at Tullie House.

But the museum is already plotting ways to get the ancient facemask and helmet back in future.

Visitor numbers are expected to top 20,000 by the time the exhibition ends tomorrow.

And the museum’s record-breaking figures are behind its bid to bring the enchanting piece back.

Hilary Wade, the museum director, said: “We will be carrying out an evaluation of our visitor figures, responses to questionnaires, and visitor comments.

“The aim is to show the owner of the helmet how successful the exhibition has been.”

Mayor of Carlisle Ray Bloxham is backing the bid to bring the helmet back to the city.

He said: “The display has been absolutely superb because it has brought an awful lot of people into Tullie House at a time when it needed a boost.

“It has also attracted a lot of visitors to Carlisle.

“I would be delighted if it were to come back again in 12 months time or whatever because it will refresh people’s memories.”

The piece, which dates back to between the first and third century AD, was discovered on farmland in Crosby Garrett, near Penrith, in 2010.

It was snapped up at auction for a cool £2.2m by a mystery buyer, despite Tullie House’s fundraising campaign to secure the artefact.

After months of tense negotiations, museum bosses struck up a deal with the owner to bring the piece to Carlisle on loan in November.

It will now head down to the British Museum in London where it will go on show from February 3. Mrs Wade added: “At this stage the helmet is still continuing there [the British Museum] but after its time there we will look at any future opportunities there may be to have it back in Carlisle.

“We would love to have it back.”

More than 200 visitors have responded to the museum’s survey, which has been running while the helmet has been on display. The survey asks people if they have come specifically to see the helmet and if so, why.


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