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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 April, 2005, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Late Pope portrait to go on show
Michael Noakes painted Pope John Paul II

A new portrait of Pope John Paul II, created after the artist was granted a private audience, is to go on display in London this week.

Painter Michael Noakes was given an audience with the late head of the Roman Catholic Church in February 2004.

The painting is part of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters' annual show, which the Duke of Kent will open at the Mall Galleries on Thursday.

And portrait painters will honoured at an awards ceremony on Tuesday.

Five prizes will be handed out, with a new category of best portrait by an artist under 35 coming with a 4,000 award.

Ken Dodd by David Cobley
Ken Dodd was captured by David Cobley
More than 200 portraits from more than 100 artists will be hung in the exhibition.

Other recognisable faces will include comedian Ken Dodd and Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe.

Mr Noakes, who studied at the Royal Academy, has previously done portraits of the Queen and former US President Bill Clinton.

A private view of the exhibition will take place on Wednesday before it opens to the public on Thursday, running until 15 May.

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