Thursday, 31 March 2011

Philanthropist rescues Auckland Castle and its Zurbarans

Thirteen remarkable Zurbarán paintings will remain in their home at Auckland Castle in Co Durham thanks to a staggering £15million donation by Investment Manager and philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer.

The 17th century portraits of Jacob and his brothers by Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbarán, which were under threat of being sold by the Church Commissioners, will now remain where they have hung since 1756.

The intention is for Auckland Castle, the home of the Bishop of Durham, to become a leading public heritage site, bringing tourism and economic regeneration to the North East. Partners include the Art Fund, Durham County Council, the National Trust, the Department for Media, Culture and Sport, and the National Gallery about the broader future for Auckland Castle and the paintings within.

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