Sunday, July 14, 2024

More than 100 Westmeath artefacts held in British Museum

More than 100 historical artefacts that were uncovered in Co. Westmeath are being held in the British Museum, in the heart of London.

British museums have come under pressure as of late due to the high volume of artefacts it possesses, many of which were forcibly removed during periods of colonisation that originate from foreign countries.

The Horniman Museum & Gardens in London this week agreed to return 72 bronze items that were taken from Nigeria’s Benin city in 1897.

Out of the 100 or so artefacts in the British museum listed as ‘acquired or discovered’ in Westmeath, 21 come from Mullingar.

These include a dress fastener used during the Bronze Age (between 1000BC and 750BC), a harness fitting for a horse used during the Iron Age (between 300BC and 100AD) and a Celtic-era penannular brooch (from between 600 and 700AD).

Two tickets to attend the since-closed (1967) Mullingar Racecourse in 1906 and 1907 are part of the museum’s collection.

In the British Museum, many artefacts have Fore, Killucan, Moate, Kilbeggan, Balllymore and many more areas in the county listed as their place of origin.

55 artefacts from Athlone are currently being held in the Museum, including Viking bracelets and many Celtic coins.

The British Museum houses eight million objects, 99% of which are not on display. Thousands of the artefacts located there have disputed ownership due to origin countries describing them as “stolen”.

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