A man was shocked when he stumbled upon a collection of rare Viking artifacts while metal detecting – and even more stunned to learn that he would be rewarded $2,563,407 for the find.
In 2014, Derek McLennan was metal detecting when he uncovered the thousand-year-old treasure – included silver bracelets, a gold ring and an enameled Christian cross. The discovery was made in a western Scotland field.
McLennan passed the artifact on to experts, and the Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer (QLTR) ultimately ruled that the Scotland’s National Museum should receive the items provided it pays McLennan $2,563,407.
The total amount was determined given the market value of the artifacts.
“I am pleased to announce that I am minded to accept the recommendation of the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel (SAFAP) that these wonderful items be allocated to National Museums Scotland, subject to it meeting the ex gratia award which would then be payable to the finder,” QLTR David Harvie told the Daily Mail, calling it “one of the most important finds ever discovered in Scotland.”
National Museums Scotland director Dr. Gordon Rintoul also spoke of the find and acknowledged the Museum’s obligation of McLennan.
“The Galloway hoard is of outstanding international significance and we are absolutely delighted that QLTR has decided to allocate it to NMS,” Rintoul said. “We now have six months to raise £1.98 million to acquire this unique treasure for the nation and ensure it can be enjoyed by future generations both at home and abroad.”
The chair of the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel, Evelyn Silber, said the panel was “grateful to the finder” for turning the artifacts over to experts.
The artifacts, she said, included “decorative glass beads, silver bracelets and brooches, a gold ring, a bird-shaped gold pin and a highly-decorated gilt vessel [recognized] as being one of only three known examples.”
“These will now be preserved and put on display for the people of Scotland, and the world, to enjoy,” she said. “The mysterious circumstances of their deposition and unique quality will attract researchers and enthusiasts alike.”
Many readers applauded Scotland for rightfully awarding McLennan given the fact that he was the one to find the significant artifacts.
“How wonderful he was paid for his find and honored when they were cleaned up and displayed for others to see their heritage,” one Mad World News reader commented on the site’s Facebook page.
“Good for him!” another Daily Mail reader wrote.
Sources: Daily Mail, Mad World News/Facebook / Photo credit: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons, Church of Scotland via Daily Mail