Thursday, November 16, 2006

British Library shuns Gospels appeal

No temporary exhibit!

South Shields MP David Miliband has followed up this blog's appeal to have the Lindisfarne Gospels loaned to St. Paul's in Jarrow for a temporary exhibition and today contacted me with the disappointing news that the British Library will not consider such a loan until at least 2014. The Minister for Culture, David Lammy wrote:

"As you may be aware the Library has loaned the Gospels to the North-East twice in the last ten years, in 1996 and 2000, both times to the Laing Gallery in Newcastle. However, following a peer-reviewed study of the condition of the Gospels conducted in 2004, which found that the Gospels were more fragile than previously thought, the British Library Board took a decision not to consider any further temporary loans of the Gospels until 2014. The British Library is an arm's length body and as such I have no locus to intervene in this matter."

Lammy goes on to say that he will be meeting Roberta Blackman-Woods MP to discuss the campaign for the permanent return of the Gospels to the North-East.

With the recent announcement that Monkwearmouth-Jarrow will be Britain's nomination for World Heritage status, David Miliband has pledged to continue to pursue the matter.

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