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Kells wants its famous book back, but Trinity says no

The town of Kells in Co. Meath wants its book back ... the famous Book of Kells.

A campaign has got under way to secure the return of one of the four volumes of the famous priceless works of art.

Campaigners say that the Co Meath town is the rightful home for at least some of the book.

But Trinity College, where it is currently housed, has rejected the town's request.

Written by monks around 800 AD, the book disappeared when Oliver Cromwell's army arrived in Kells in 1654.

It was given to Trinity six years later and has been there since.

Now – in a bid to draw tourists - Kells residents at least on of the volumes back and have signed a petition.

The Book of Kells is a huge attraction and money earner for Trinity College where it is preserved and displayed.

Trinity said: "The preservation, safety and security of the manuscript are paramount in relation to requests for loan received by Trinity College.’’

"Over the years, it has received requests from highly reputable cultural institutions both nationally and internationally for its loan.

"Since the year 2000, it has been the policy of the Board of Trinity College on the grounds of security, environmental and preservation concerns to decline such requests.

"The College regrets the disappointment that this decision may cause, however the preservation of this unique and fragile manuscript must, however, take priority over all other considerations."

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