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    May 12

    Written by: adawson 5/12/2011 3:50 PM 

    Arrest of ChristIreland’s most famous national treasure is an illuminated manuscript, known as the Book of Kells.  The Book of Kells was most likely created by Celtic scribes and monks, who filled the pages with ornately designed script and sacred images, on the Isle of Iona around 800AD. This island, located between Scotland and Ireland, was raided by the Vikings and the monks of the island were forced inland for security. The monks took their treasured book, which contains the four Gospels from the New Testament written in Latin, with them to the Abbey of Kells. There, the book stayed from the 9th century until 1541. While there, in 1051, the book was stolen, stripped of its jewel encrusted cover and tossed in a ditch, where it was recovered. During the Protestant Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church took possession of the Book of Kells to protect it and did not return it to Ireland until 1661. It has been housed in Dublin’s Trinity College since them. The Book of Kells is on permanent display but one cannot view more that one page per day. Although it is a one of kind, the Cleveland Public Library owns a fine facsimile copy of this Irish masterpiece and is available to be viewed in its entirety in the Special Collections Department.    

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