EXPLORER Sir Ranulph Fiennes has backed an urgent appeal to save negatives of photographs taken by Captain Scott on his ill-fated last polar expedition.

The Polar Museum, at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, has just weeks to raise £275,000 to avoid the prospect of the 113 negatives being sold at auction, probably to a foreign bidder.

The negatives are described as an "extraordinary visual record" of Scott's famous 1912 Terra Nova Expedition, in which he and his four companions perished on their return from being beaten to the South Pole by Norwegian Roald Amundsen.

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Sir Ranulph said: "Scott's negatives are of outstanding importance to the United Kingdom's heritage."