Cambridge museum close to buying wooden bust of Virgin Mary

Museum needs to raise just under £14,000 more to buy artefact Credit: Fitzwilliam Musem

Fundraisers at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge say they're just under£14,000 short of raising what they need to buy a 350 year-old wooden bust of the Virgin Mary.

The "Virgin of Sorrows" is just 34cm tall and has been on display there over the summer.

It is considered one of the finest examples of its kind. The tears are made from glass and the eyelashes from human hair.

The museum has until the end of the month to raise the £85,000 total they need.

Fundraising to buy statue is going well Credit: Fitzwilliam Museum

The thing about this bust is that it is not one of those lugubrious virgins with rolling eyes that one associates with Spanish religious art. Here instead is a strikingly simple, and arrestingly intense, portrait of a beautiful young woman.

– Tim Knox, Director of Fitzwilliam Museum