Church of England plans to sell historic Durham paintings

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The Church of England is planning to sell a collection of historic paintings by the Spanish Old Master Francisco Zurbarán which have been in its possession for 250 years.

The paintings of Jacob and his sons, completed in the 1640s, are expected to raise at least £15 million for Church funds when they are sold.

The Church Commissioners, who manage the Church of England’s assets, are said to be considering replacing the 12 paintings, which hang in Auckland Castle, with high quality replicas.

But the proposed sale has upset worshippers in Durham, who regard the works as a part of the Church’s heritage. They are a popular attraction for visitors to the Castle, which has been the the home of the Bishops of Durham for 800 years.....

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