The new exhibition opened at 10am with schoolchildren among the first visitors. The Gospels were last on display in the North East in 2000 and will remain at Durham University's Palace Green Library until September.
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The officer was blasted twice by gunman Raoul Moat who had declared war on police minutes before.
Labour's Anna Turley said ministers should have stepped in to stop the "hard closure" from going ahead.
His Excellency Mr Ranjan Mathai visited the 197-year old HMS Trincomalee, which celebrates its bicentenary in 2017.