A lump of coal, believed to be around 300 million years old has been saved for the nation by a joint funding operation. The coal, dating from the Carboniferous period and considered a bargain at just £2.7m by art historians, will be on display in a Yorkshire museum.
The coal, moments from being burnt on an open fire in the sitting room of pensioner Annie Otterburne, was saved from combustion following a campaign by the involving the National Heritage Memorial Fund in conjunction with Art For Northerners to raise the necessary funds.
Annie, whose gas and electricity had been cut off, had been saving the lump of coal for emergencies. But before she had chance to feel the warm, life-giving properties that burning coal can offer, officials intervened and the coal was saved for the nation.
The coal is described by those who have seen it as ‘black and coal shaped.’