Petition launched to bring back St Ninian’s treasure

A new petition has been launched calling for the St Ninian’s treasure to be returned to Shetland.

The “treasure trove” – which dates to the eighth century – was discovered during the 1950s by the then 15 year-old Douglas Coutts during an excavation of the chapel in St Ninian’s Isle.

It has subsequently found a home in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Shetland Museum and Archives only plays host to replicas of the treasure.

Now, a call is being made by Lerwick man Scott Nicolson to bring the treasure home permanently.

He has launched a petition on the website.

“The treasure was removed from Shetland and intended to be displayed In the Aberdeen University Museum,” he states.

“However, the Lord Advocate at the time ruled that It belonged to the Crown. And the late Queen Elizabeth gifted the treasure to the National Museum of Scotland, In Edinburgh, where the treasure can still be seen today.

He added: “We wish to see the repatriation of the true St Ninians Isle treasure to Shetland, the place where it was discovered.”

The treasure, made up of 28 silver-gilt objects, temporarily returned to Shetland in 2008, following a loan agreement between the museums in Lerwick and Edinburgh.

The collection of brooches, bowls and other important artefacts, were believed to have been buried over 1,200 years ago to avoid being nabbed by raiding Vikings.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.