AN Iron Age mirror unearthed near Didcot could be taken out of the country unless £33,000 is found to buy it.

The item, pictured right, was discovered near the town by a metal detector enthusiast and has been sold to an anonymous overseas buyer.

But due to its historical importance culture minister and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey has temporarily blocked any export to see if a buyer can be found in the UK.

He said: “The Didcot Mirror is a beautiful object dating from the Iron Age and would be a tremendous addition to any one of our many outstanding national, regional and local museums. I hope the export bar I’ve placed allows time for a UK buyer to come forward and secure it for the nation.”

Details on where exactly the item was found have not been released as the finder has asked to remain anonymous.

Mr Vaizey made the decision following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA).

Leslie Webster, from the RCEWA, said: “This rare and beautiful mirror is an outstanding example of Celtic art in the later Iron Age, and is particularly unusual in the way that its delicately incised ornament challenges some of the conventional design rules for the decoration of these high-status objects.”

Potential buyers now have until June 14 but this could be extended. Anyone interested should call 0845 300 6200.