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Last Updated: Monday, 24 January, 2005, 19:04 GMT
Psalter fund reaches 1.7m target
Macclesfield Psalter
The 14th Century chronicle is considered one of the most important of its kind
Campaigners have raised 1.7m to keep an ancient East Anglian religious manuscript in the country.

The money was raised just two weeks before a deadline after which the Macclesfield psalter would have been sold to a top US museum.

A temporary ban was put on the sale of the psalter to the Paul Getty Museum of Los Angeles in June 2004.

The book, found in a private collection in Oxfordshire, will now be displayed at Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum.

The 1.7m raised included 180,000 from the public, and a 500,000 grant from the National Art Collections Fund.

In addition, a grant of 860,000 from The National Heritage Memorial Fund and 150,000 from the Fitzwilliam, helped the fundraising effort.

The psalter was unearthed when a family dispute forced the Earl of Macclesfield to auction off the contents of a library at Shirburn Castle, his seat in Oxfordshire.

The 225-page illuminated 14th Century work, previously unknown to scholars, is considered one of the most important of its kind.

Macclesfield Psalter
The manuscript is thought to have been made in Norfolk
It was bought in June by the Getty Museum of Los Angeles for 1,685,000 but Arts Minister Estelle Morris deferred its export to give British bidders a chance to raise the money.

The 170x108mm illuminated manuscript was produced in East Anglia, probably at a priory at Gorleston in Norfolk .

It contains 14 miniatures of religious scenes, chiefly from the life of King David.

The miniatures also depict St Andrew the patron of Gorleston Church and other East Anglian saints.

It is believed to come from the same artist as the Gorleston Psalter, which is housed in the British Museum.

Psalter fund nears 1.7m target
22 Nov 04 |  Norfolk

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