The Lindisfarne Gospels have returned to the North East.

After hundreds of years the legendary Lindisfarne Gospels have returned to the region when one of the limited edition facsimile copies makes Sunderland its permanent residence. Created on Holy Island almost 1,300 years ago, the gospels remain one of the principal achievements of Western art.

Written and illuminated around 715-720AD to celebrate the life of Saint Cuthbert, the manuscript occupies a place of extraordinary importance in the history of art, in paleography and in linguistics.

The Fine Art Facsimile Edition one of a limited edition is presented in a faithful replica of the current Victorian binding, with the frame made of silver with delicate filigree work and specially manufactured glass stones mounted on the surface.

One of the earliest Western Gospels, the Lindisfarne Gospels fascinates above all because of its colouring and the breathtaking quantity of its ornamental decorations.

The entire manuscript is brilliantly illuminated using 45 different colours and tones. Magnificent 'carpet' pages are designed in such intricate and sophisticated geometric patterns that the viewer sees something new on each inspection. Spirals, whorls and fantastic bird and animal forms are worked into the designs, creating a spectacular carpet of interwoven colours.

The original manuscript can be seen in the British Library but now a perfect facsimile copy of all 518 pages, an exact replica of the original will be available for view within Sunderland.

The Gospels are now available for viewing within the City Library and Arts Centre.

The Gospels are housed within a glass presentation case for public view, and pages are updated on a regular basis.

For further information contact the City Library and Arts Centre on (0191) 561 8407