Rare necklace containing 4.5billion-year-old meteorite goes on show in Sunderland

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Romantic Wearsiders looking for an unusual gift this Valentine’s Day can buy their partner something out of this world.

As part of an exhibition at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Arts (NGCA), in Fawcett Street, a necklace containing a 4.5billion-year-old space rock is being auctioned online on eBay.

The one-of-a-kind pendant, entitled Baetylus (Catch a Falling Star), was made by artist Rosalind McLachlan, and is on display as part of the Crab Walk exhibition.

It contains a piece of the Chelyabinsk meteorite, which crashed to earth two years ago on Monday. At 9.20am on February 15, 2013, a 20metre-wide meteorite, weighing 12,000 tons, entered the Earth’s atmosphere over Russia at a speed of 42,000mph.

It caused a blast 20 to 30 times more powerful than the Hiroshima nuclear bomb and sent more than1,000 people to hospital.

Artist Rosalind bought a fragment of the meteorite and crafted it into a necklace, the auction of which closes on Monday to mark the anniversary of the rock’s descent to Earth.

It’s being displayed at NGCA alongside a 12-minute video, which documents the fall of the meteorite from space into human hands.

Kathryn Brame, from NGCA, said: “As well as the incredible footage of its fiery descent, the video includes rare news footage of the newly-established Church of the Meteorite, engaged in an act of worship on the shores of Lake Chebarkul, where the largest fragment of the meteorite is thought to have crash landed.

“These images are paired with a soundtrack that has been 
collected and sometimes manipulated by the artist to convey the power held by this alien object .”

l To make a bid, search “Baetylus” on eBay. The highest bid at time of print was £205.

l Crab Walk is at NGCA, City Library and Arts Centre, until February 20.