13 September 2012
Senator Philip Ozouf made the following speech at the opening of the exhibition on Thursday 13 September 2012:
Thank you for inviting us to this fascinating opening of this important hoard of Celtic coins. I think that we are extremely fortunate in Jersey to have such expertise.
We should be extremely grateful that this find has been recorded in such a meticulous way, with video and photography, and preserved for ever.
As we have heard, this is a massive archaeological find, without doubt the most important of our generation and of international significance. It has captured the imagination of the media and Islanders as well as people around the world.
I must admit when we brought the Economic and Diversification Strategy to the States earlier this year, we did not consider that treasure hunting would be part of that plan. Clearly this is a fantastic profile for Jersey in many ways.
Although the monetary value of this discovery is of course impressive, the true value of these coins is that they bring to life the reality of some of Jersey’s rich history.
Immigration has always been a topical debate, and this illustrates an important aspect of our past. Our historic Jersey communities have been greatly augmented by the tribes crossing the seas to find a place of refuge from Caesar’s campaign. This reinforces how special Jersey history is and its links with what is now called France. There is clearly a great deal of work to be done.
I would like to extend the thanks of the Council of Ministers to the finders, Reg Mead and Richard Miles, and also the landowner and Jersey Heritage for allowing this wonderful display to take place for the people of Jersey and visitors to enjoy. I hope many will find the time to visit.
Finally a special thanks to Lloyds TSB as sponsor, who are helping to make this exhibition happen.