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The Book of Kells currently resides at Trinity College, Dublin Photo by: Tourism Ireland

Oscar nomination sparks effort to bring Book of Kells back to town of its origin

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The Book of Kells currently resides at Trinity College, Dublin Photo by: Tourism Ireland

The Oscar nomination for the Irish animated film "The Secret Book of Kells" has reignited a dispute between the town of Kells and Trinity College Dublin.
 
The Abbey of Kells was home to the Book of Kells for seven centuries. The book was removed from the abbey when Oliver Cromwell and his troops conquered Ireland in the 17th century.
 
The animated film is due to be released in the U.S.S on St Patrick’s Day. Kells Urban District Cllr. Brian Curran believes that the U.S. may provide a platform to return the book to Kells.
 
"We are going to use all those energies to try to put a positive slant on the request again to Trinity College,” said Curran.
 
The Urban District Council of Kells has made several failed attempts in the past to return the book to Kells.
 
 In 2000 the Kells District Council lobbied Trinity College to allow one of the four manuscripts to be displayed in a new heritage center in Kells.
 
However, Trinity refused to return the book to the Heritage centre as they felt the centers security conditions were inadequate.
 
Curran said that the issues regarding security and ventilation had been addressed.
 
He also stated that the Oscar nomination has led to a "sense of renewal" to the Book of Kells campaign.

Unfortunately the Kells Heritage center has since closed due to a lack of funding. The Kells District Council is now looking for $274,000 in funding from the cash strapped Irish government to reopen it.
 
Curran and the people of the Meath town feel that the local economy will greatly benefit from the return of the Book of Kells.  

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