The display of the famous Mold Cape at Wrexham County Borough Museum has been deemed a success with well over 10,000 visitors in the first four weeks of the six week long exhibition, a 233% increase in visitors over previous years.
This iconic Bronze Age object, which was found in 1833 on the outskirts of Mold, normally resides in the British Museum. This summer, however it has travelled to National Museum Cardiff attracting an additional 4,000 visitors, and then onto Wrexham Museum attracting enormous interest and rave reviews at both venues.
The loan of the Cape to Wrexham Museum was only made possible by the funding of significant improvements to the museums security and display systems under the Sharing Treasures-Cyfoeth Cymru Gyfan scheme. Sharing Treasures is Welsh Government funded scheme (administered by CyMAL: Museums Archives & Libraries Wales) which provides grants to local museums in order for them to carry out improvements to enable them to display objects from national collections held in Wales and the rest of the UK.
This has enabled the museum to routinely display objects from the national collections to people in north-east Wales who would otherwise have had to travel to Cardiff, Aberystwyth or even further afield to see.
Notable examples of the exhibitions held in Wrexham include ‘Dr Drinkwater’s Excellent Botanical Compendium’ (2003); ‘Re-creations: Visualizing Our Past’ (2005), ‘Paul Sandby, Sir Watkin, and the Landscape of North Wales’ (2006), ‘The Tomb Builders: Wales 4000 – 3000BC’ (2008) and ‘A Holiday of a Lifetime: The Grand Tour, Art & Wales’ (2013).
Stephen Grenter, Wrexham County Borough Council’s Heritage Services Manager said “Without the investment provided by Sharing Treasures the local display of objects such as the Mold Cape would have been impossible for us to even contemplate, thanks to the scheme and to the contacts developed by participating in the scheme, we have been able to significantly improve the museum’s offer to our customers resulting in a very significant impact both for us and for the town itself.”
Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths, said “I’m delighted to see that the iconic Mold Gold Cape is proving to be such a popular visitor attraction. I would urge people to take advantage of the fact that this precious Welsh artefact has come home to Wales to see up close its wonderful craftsmanship.”