Statue of Sunderland’s Venerable Bede unveiled in Durham

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A CAST of a Bede statue which was originally carved in Durham City has gone on show in the library on Palace Green.

The original of the bronze cast was carved from a chestnut tree which stood outside the cathedral. In 2001, it was presented to the Pontifical Beda College in Rome where it still stands.

Artist Fenwick Lawson with a bronze cast of his statue of The Young Bede, unveiled at Palace Green Library, Durham, on Thursday. The wooden original stands in the Pontifical Beda Library College in Rome.

Artist Fenwick Lawson with a bronze cast of his statue of The Young Bede, unveiled at Palace Green Library, Durham, on Thursday. The wooden original stands in the Pontifical Beda Library College in Rome.

“It was my third Bede,” said sculptor Fenwick Lawson, who lives in Durham City. “So I suppose you could say this cast is the fourth from the third.

“Bede is of both national and international importance, and his works are still relevant today.

“He wrote about the wider world and what we now call green issues.

“I like the idea of him looking out beyond the quill, and I hope the sculpture reflects that.”

Mr Lawson explained why the carving has no feathers on the quill.

“It’s more like a stylus,” he said. “I was in Jarrow one day and overheard a man talk to some children who were looking at the Bede statue.

“He told the children the sculptor had made a mistake because the quill had feathers on it, but Bede’s would not have had feathers because they removed them to prevent smudges.”

The cast features images of the Lindisfarne Gospels on the legs of Bede’s stool.

It is standing in the corridor which will be used by people leaving the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition, and be found a permanent site in the library later this year.