illuminated Gospels
The 10th century illuminated Gospels created at Liesborn Abbey that are now returning to Westphalia.

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The price of around $3m will be shouldered by a partnership between the district of Warendorf and the German bank Sparkasse Münsterland Ost.

Liesborn Abbey, in the diocese of Münster, was founded as a convent in the 9th century and later became a monastery. The Gospel book, made c.980 by the scribe Gerwardus, remained there until 1803 when the abbey closed and the manuscript was acquired by English collector Sir Thomas Phillipps.

The state of Westphalia had unsuccessfully attempted to reacquire the manuscript on several previous occasions but since 1950 it has spent time in California, Norway and in Switzerland. It survives in its medieval wood binding, probably carved in the workshops at Liesborn.

“It is always a source of very great satisfaction when a manuscript finally returns to its rightful and ancestral home,” said Sandra Hindman of Les Enluminures.

The Liesborn Gospels will return to Westphalia from the US next month.