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Tickets go on sale in Durham for Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition
AN EXCITED queue of people dressed as choristers, Anglo-Saxons, monks and sportsmen today snapped up tickets for one of the North-East's most eagerly awaitined homecomings.
One of the world’s greatest books and a remarkable landmark of human cultural achievement, the Lindisfarne Gospels go on display on July 1, in Durham University's Palace Green Library alongside some of Britain’s most significant and precious Anglo-Saxons artefacts and medieval manuscripts.
Dr Richard Scothon, who along with wife Kirsten and children Henry, eight, and Charlotte, six, was first in the queue, said: “As they were born in the region it is really important for them to see it - not just in London, but in their home town. They will take this experience away with them for the rest of their lives.”
The launch of ticket sales was marked with a preview showcasing of some of the pieces which will form part of a three-month festival of events celebrating the exhibition.
The specially-formed Lindisfarne Gospels Community Choir performed in Durham Cathedral , along with a dance group accompanied by Northumbrian music. There was also a scene from the comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Durham, by Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood.
Professor Chris Higgins, Vice Chancellor of Durham University, said: “The Lindisfarne Gospels is one of the most remarkable books, indeed one of the most remarkable works of art ever produced.
“This is to be a remarkable exhibition because it is not just about the Lindisfarne Gospels, it is about other books and artefacts illustrating the whole of Anglo-Saxon history leading up to the Lindesfarne Gospels and beyond.
“It will be the first time since 1104 that the St Cuthbert Gospel, the Lindesfarne Gospels and the relics of St Cuthbert will all be brought together in a single place – their spiritual home in Durham.”
Artefacts in the exhibition include gold pieces, Celtic silver and amber, and stone sculpture, drawn from the British Library, national collections, Durham Cathedral and Durham University.
British Library chief executive Roly Keating said: “It is a huge honour and pleasure for all of us at the British Library to be here to be here part of this moment of celebration and anticipation for what I think is not just going to be an extraordinary exhibition, but also a remarkable summer for everyone in this part of the UK.”
Lindisfarne Gospels programme director Dr Keith Bartlett said: “The exhibition is the highlight of the regional cultural calendar and the hottest ticket in town."
A three-month festival will feature exhibitions and performances, concerts, pilgrimages, retreats, and activities for all the family from as far afield as Holy Island, York and Cumbria, as well as performances by the 1,000-strong Lindisfarne Gospels Community Choir.
Tickets are £7.50 (conc £6.50). Visit www.lindisfarnegospels.com contact Ticketmaster on 0844 248 2013 or buy in person from Palace Green Library.