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Countdown to Gospels exit begins... with cake
WITH just over a week to go until the Lindisfarne Gospels leave the North-East, organisers of the three-month exhibition have promised a grand farewell.
After years of lobbying the British Library to allow the priceless seventh century manuscript to leave London for its spiritual home, the three-month loan to Durham University’s Palace Green Library is nearly at an end – the final day being Monday, September 30.
More than 93,000 tickets have been sold, with more than 1,000 people a day seeing the Gospels and accompanying artefacts and displays. There have also been countless supporting events around the region.
Organisers are now predicting a final exhibition capacity rating of around 80 per cent.
Most remaining daytime visit slots are now sold out. However, more evening tickets are still available.
Keith Bartlett, Lindisfarne Gospels Durham programme director, ruled out extending the exhibition, saying arrangements to transport the Gospels back to London were already in place.
Neither will opening hours be extended, for fear of the delicate treasure being damaged.
However, while he was staying tight-lipped on details, Dr Barlett said he and his colleagues were looking at giving the Gospels a good send-off.
“We always knew it would be a three-month loan and we couldn’t have asked for it to have gone any better,” he said.
“There has been a fantastic buzz about the place. It's really put Durham on the map."
The final large-scale event will be a Durham Cathedral concert of music inspired by St Cuthbert, on Saturday, September 28, at 7.15pm. Tickets, priced £5 to £25, can be booked by calling 03000-266600.
Meanwhile, Durham Market Place today (Thursday, September 19) hosted a Gospels-inspired cake baking contest.
The Great Gospels Cake Off attracted a range of entries, with shoppers invited to vote a People’s Choice award.
Audrey Taylor, of Hepburns, won the professional baking category, Gill Wright took the home baking prize and Lindsay Stevenson of Durham Community Food Bank picked up the most unique entry honour.
Dr Bartlett said the competition had met with a great response, with extra voting slips having to be printed.
For more information on the Lindisfarne Gospels, visit lindisfarnegospels.com
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