BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Northern Ireland
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Friday, 14 April, 2000, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Priceless book damaged in flight
Illuminated page from the eighth century Book Of Kells,  in the care of Trinity College, Dublin
The Book of Kells: Ancient illustrated manuscript of gospels.
Ireland's most priceless ancient manuscript, the Book of Kells, has been damaged while being taken to Australia.

A volume of the eight century manuscript is currently the centrepiece of an exhibition in Canberra's National Gallery of Australia.

The damage is described as "very minor" by Bill Simpson, head librarian at Dublin's Trinity College university, where the book is normally kept.
Detail of an animal from the Book of Kells
Chequered history: The book was once stolen
The affected volume was discovered upon arrival in the Australian capital on a flight from the Republic of Ireland.

It is thought that the pigmentation on a part of the calfskin manuscript has been affected, and that it could have been due to vibration on the flight.

But the extent of the damage and the cause are unlikely to be established until an extensive examination of the work is undertaken back in Dublin next month.

The book, which has been exhibited overseas on only three previous occasions, is normally kept on show in carefully-controlled conditions in a specially-built case in the Trinity College library.

The Australian incident coincides with a campaign for part of the book to be put on display in Kells, Co Meath.

The town which gives the manuscript its name is 40 miles from Dublin in County Meath.

Only this week parliamentary representatives from Meath, including former premier John Bruton, head of the Fine Gael opposition party, met Trinity College officials to discuss the possible move.

The view in Dublin was that the prospect of the Kells transfer, already being resisted by some university authorities, was now in further doubt.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

25 Feb 00 | Europe
Unholy row over ancient book
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Northern Ireland stories