Saturday, September 23, 2006

Lindisfarne Gospels

Bring them home!

South Shields MP and Environment Secretary David Miliband has joined the campaign to have the Lindisfarne Gospels returned to the North-East.

The Gospels are a priceless treasure created by the monks at Lindisfarne and are probably the best example of an illuminated manuscript in the U.K. As an historical artefact they hold a prized place in the collection of the British Library, and it is right that the people of the North East should enjoy adequate opportunity to view this masterpiece. The British Library seem very unwilling to allow the book to travel, fearing accidental damage - where is the "can do" mentality?

Various places have been suggested to house a temporary exhibition in the North East including Sunderland Library and Winter Gardens, and Durham Cathedral, however there is a more significant place in the North's history, still standing, and on our doorstep.

Through this blog, I would like to invite David Miliband and Stephen Hepburn (MP for Jarrow) to consider pressing for an exhibition to take place at St. Paul's Church, Jarrow. St. Paul's is the pre-eminent site of Christian history in the North, being the home of the Venerable Bede. It was Bede's influence, schooling, education, and training which provided the expertise for monks of later generations to produce the magnificent work that we all demand to see returned to the North East. A specialised unit would need to be installed to display the Lindisfarne Gospels, and 24 hour security would be a must, but I'm sure that we could achieve whatever the British Library demanded.

The benefits for South Tyneside would be extraordinary in terms of prestige, heritage, and tourism.


Evening Chronicle

Let's face it, the Gospels could go anywhere in the NE really. Lindisfarne comes to mind, actually. Pigs might fly too.

Did you see the virtual pageturning virtual reality thing they had stuck in a plasticky box in the library? Ghastly, a Disney version.
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