AN HISTORIC treasure is returning to the place where it was found in York as part of the relaunch of one of the city’s most popular attractions.

The York Helmet, an Anglian helmet buried during the Viking occupation of York, will be back at Coppergate where it will go on display at the Jorvik Viking Centre for the first four weeks of its reopening.

The helmet can usually be seen in the Yorkshire Museum, but with work due to start in April on their new Viking-themed exhibition which opens in May, York Museums Trust has loaned it to Jorvik.

Sarah Maltby, director of attractions for York Archaeological Trust, said: “Although itself not strictly Viking, it is likely that it was appropriated and used by one of the Viking settlers into the late ninth century. It is a prestigious piece of armour, so it could have been buried in its wood-lined pit by the new owner to hide it, but for some reason, was never reclaimed, and remained underground until the very last excavations of the Coppergate dig in 1982.”

She added: “We are looking forward to bringing the helmet back in Coppergate - it is a real treat for those visiting during our first month of reopening that they will see it in almost exactly the same spot as it was unearthed.”

York Archaeological Trust and York Museums Trust are working with Visit York on York’s year-long Year of the Viking campaign to draw more visitors to the city.

Sarah added: “Nowhere else in England celebrates its Norse heritage with quite as much enthusiasm as York, and with items from the British Museum’s incredible collections going on display alongside our own treasures in the city this year, 2017 is the perfect time and place for anyone with an interest in the Viking period.”

The helmet will then return to the Yorkshire Museum as part of the Viking: Rediscover The Legend major new exhibition, from May 19 to November 5. This exhibition, in partnership with the British Museum, features some of the most significant Viking finds ever discovered in the UK.

Reyahn King, chief executive of the York Museums Trust, said: “This year York celebrates its Viking heritage with two incredibly exciting events. The reopening of a new Jorvik Viking Centre is a significant boost for the city’s cultural offer and the major new exhibition VIKING at the Yorkshire Museum will see some of the most spectacular Viking treasure in the country brought together for the first time. We expect thousands of people will visit in the Year of the Viking to discover how life in Britain was transformed by the Vikings’ arrival, bringing conquest but also amazing craftsmanship, new customs and fascinating stories”