Turning over a new page

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The precious pages of the Lindisfarne Gospels have been turned to show a full-page portrait of St John the Evangelist, which will be on display until the end of the exhibition on 30 September.

Experts from the British Library and Durham University have carefully turned the pages to show the portrait which will offer visitors the chance to see the richness of the artistry in the 700-year-old book.

All four evangelists - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - are shown as author-scribes but John is unique in that he is the only one to be depicted facing the viewer, with his traditional symbol of an eagle flying overhead. 

Over 45,000 visitors have viewed the first opening, the Canon Tables, and already more than 20,000 tickets are booked for viewings between now and the end of the exhibition which is taking place in Durham University’s Palace Green Library.

The exhibition tells the story of the North East’s most famous saint, Cuthbert, through precious objects, stunning interpretation and one of the world’s most precious books, the Lindisfarne Gospels. 

The Lindisfarne Gospels are displayed alongside the Cuthbert Gospel and Cuthbert’s own treasures: a sapphire ring, a portable altar, his jeweled cross and fragments of his vestments. 

The exhibition also includes a large selection of Northumbrian Gospel books, stone sculptures, viking swords and precious Anglo-Saxon treasures including gold and jewelled pieces from the Staffordshire Horde.

The events programme and the free interactive Wolfson Gallery are also proving to be a big hit with families. Children can dress as monks, create their own Gospel carpet page using light boxes, learn new skills at workshops and listen to Viking sagas and Anglo-Saxon tales around the colourful storytelling chair.

Durham University is hosting the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition on behalf of the North East, in partnership with Durham Cathedral, Durham County Council and the British Library.

The exhibition is open from 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week until 30 September. To book tickets or find out more, please visit www.lindisfarnegospels.com

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