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County Durham's Bowes Museum hosts V&A shoe exhibition

A new exhibition opens this weekend at the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, charting the social and artistic aspects of footwear over the centuries.

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The exhibition comes from the Victoria and Albert Musuem in London and is the only venue outside the capital, before the items are taken to the USA and China.

It charts two thousand years of footwear, from a pair used for foot binding in China, to a modern trainer selection.

Helen Ford reports:

Refurbishment grant for Captain Cook Birthplace Museum

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in Middlesbrough is getting a £500,000 refurbishment.

A new exhibition and education space will open next year - ahead of the 250th anniversary of the explorer's first voyage, which will be celebrated in 2018.

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The proposed works will see refurbishment of the Middlesbrough museum’s first floor, alongside the creation of a new temporary exhibition gallery within the main exhibition galleries.

The award – administered by Arts Council England – will also enable the development of new artefact, archive and handling collections and resources to enhance the museum’s existing Cook collections.

The works are expected to take place during the museum’s winter closure period, with completion in time for re-opening in April, 2017.

Councillor Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport said:

We are always looking for ways to develop our museums to ensure they maintain regional significance, and this grant will enable an important upgrade to the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum.

The creation of a new interactive exhibition, educational upgrades and a revamp of key areas of the building will keep the museum fresh, relevant and attractive for visitors.”

– Councillor Lewis Young


Oriental Museum hunt continues

Chief Constable Jon Stoddart (left) and Det Supt Green (right) Credit: Durham Police

Two cars suspected of having been used by the burglars who stole two artefacts worth around £2m from the Oriental Museum in Durham have been seized by police.

Intruders smashed a hole in the wall of the Malcolm MacDonald gallery at the Oriental Museum in Elvet Hill, Durham on April 5.

They made off with a solid jade bowl dating from 1769 and a Dehua porcelain figurine, both from the Qing Dynasty.

Police said today they were recovered from a field in the Brandon area, a few miles South of Durham city and that neither were damaged.

Four men and one woman have been arrested.

One of those arrestes, Lee Wildman, 35, remains at large and police would like to trace and interview him again.

They also want to trace 32-year-old Adrian Stanton, an associate of Wildman who is also from Walsall.

Detective Superintendent Adrian Green said: "We have a number of active lines of enquiry, one of which concerns the Audi car which was in the Brandon and Meadowfield areas during the days leading up to the burglary."


Three arrested over two million pound art theft

Three people have been arrested as part of the hunt for thieves who stole two Chinese artefacts from Durham University's Oriental Museum.

The woman and two men, from the West Midlands, are in custody in the Midlands and will be transported to Durham for questioning.

Two Qing Dynasty artefacts are said to be worth at least two million pounds.

We believe there are still several outstanding suspects who we are trying to trace. We believe that it's likely those suspects are aware of the police investigation. We urge them to come forward and contact Durham Police to enable us to progress the investigation further.

– Det Insp Traci McNally, Durham Police

Police say three men were seen acting suspiciously in the Gallery on thursday afternoon, hours before the theft. Anyone with information is asked to contact Durham Police.

Rare coin which dates back to Scottish ruled Northumberland to stay in the North East

A rare coin of Prince Henry, the Earl of Northumberland, minted when Northumberland was ruled by Scotland, will go on display in Newcastle.

The silver penny is in excellent condition. It was discovered by Brian Gray with a metal detector near Alnwick, Northumberland.

It was bought by the Society of Antiquaries and will go on show at the Great North Museum: Hancock in the Explore! Gallery. The museum is open Monday to Saturday 10am -5pm, Sunday 1pm - 5pm and entry is free.