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House of Commons Hansard
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Proposed Sale of Zurbaran Paintings
16 February 2011
Volume 523

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I wish to present a petition from residents of Bishop Auckland, County Durham and the north-east, who believe that the Church Commissioners should not sell Auckland castle or the Zurbaran paintings. Bishops of Durham have lived in Bishop Auckland for 900 years. You cannot take the bishop out of Bishop Auckland.

I believe that the Church Commissioners have seen the light in regard to the castle, but have yet to see the light in regard to the Zurbaran paintings. Because the matter is so important, there are more than 3,000 signatures to the petition.

The petition states:

The Petition of residents of Bishop Auckland, County Durham and the North East,

Declares that the Petitioners believe that the Church Commissioners should not sell Auckland Castle or the Zurbaran Paintings.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Church Commissioners not to proceed with the sale.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P000888]