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Ambassador Enjoys a Sneak Peek at the UK Home of Spanish Art

20 April 2018

A senior Spanish representative has visited the North East to see how the art of his homeland is helping to revitalise a former industrial town.

His Excellency Don Carlos Bastarreche Sagües, Spanish Ambassador to the UK, took a tour of the former Backhouse Bank and Barrington School buildings in Bishop Auckland Market Place, where the UK’s first gallery dedicated to the arts and culture of Spain is currently under construction.

The Spanish Gallery, due to open in 2019, was originally inspired by Jacob and His Twelve Sons, a series of paintings by Spanish master, Francisco de Zurbarán, which have hung in nearby Auckland Castle for more than 250 years.

While the paintings themselves are currently on tour in the USA, His Excellency Don Carlos Bastarreche Sagües was given the opportunity to see inside their 900-year-old home, which is undergoing a multi-million pound conservation programme supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Due to re-open to the public on December 1, 2018, Auckland Castle and its Zurbarán paintings will form the centrepiece of The Auckland Project’s new world class visitor destination, which will open in stages over the next three years.

His Excellency Don Carlos Bastarreche Sagües’ tour of The Auckland Project formed part of a two-day trip to County Durham, organised by Durham County Council and offered the opportunity for him to speak with The Auckland Project about potential ideas for further cooperation as the project goes forward.



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