The Lindisfarne Gospels to go on display in the Newcastle

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The Lindisfarne Gospels, an Anglo-Saxon manuscript of the four Gospels, will be on display in the Laing Gallery in Newcastle in 2022, on loan from the British Library in London. 

The manuscript will feature in an exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle and have a supporting exhibition at the Newcastle City Library. It will be twenty years since the Gospels were last in Newcastle; venues across the North East will celebrate this event with activities for school and community groups, as well as an artist commission to reimagine the Gospels for a modern audience. 

As a manuscript written on Holy Island in the early eighth century, the Lindisfarne Gospels have a close connection to the North East and its rich cultural heritage. Councillor Simon Henig, the Co-Chair of the North East Culture Partnership, says this means the exhibition will have a special resonance in the North East as “the Lindisfarne Gospels is many things to many people but, first and foremost it is a book created in the North and of the North, by the community of Lindisfarne”. 

The 2022 exhibition will have a focus on regional pride, and also explore more widely what the Lindisfarne Gospels mean to modern day life. Experts from the British Library, academics from the North East and exhibition curators will work together to stimulate interest in collective human history, searching for identity, creativity, learning and sense of place.

“First and foremost it is a book created in the North and of the North, by the community of Lindisfarne”

Roly Keating, the Chief Executive of the British Library, said: “The manuscript includes the earliest surviving example of the Gospels in English and is one of the great national and indeed international treasures in our care, renowned for the intricacy and beauty of its decoration.”

The manuscript was previously on display at Durham University in 2013, in an exhibition which attracted nearly 100,000 national and international visitors.

Image: on Wikimedia Commons

*Clarification: this article was updated to state that the Lindisfarne Gospels will only be on display at the Laing Gallery in Newcastle. It previously said that the Lindinsfarne Gospels would be displayed at ‘several locations across the North East.’

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