Newcastle to get Nobel prize replica after Mansion House burglary

City leaders at the council have secured a replica medal as it emerged the original is unlikely ever to be returned to Newcastle’s Mansion House

The Mansion House in Jesmond
The Mansion House in Jesmond

The  Nobel Foundation is to give Newcastle a £200 replacement for its stolen medal.

City leaders at the council have secured a replica medal as it emerged the original is unlikely ever to be returned to Newcastle’s Mansion House.

One of the gang responsible for a suspected stolen to order theft was jailed this week for six-and-a-half years, but police say they still do not know what happened to the Nobel peace prize.

It was among a list of treasurers taken from the Lord Mayor’s official Jesmond residence, including a lock of Lord Collingwood’s hair, cups marking peace with Germany after the First World War and a snuff box from 1897.

It is thought the items may have been smuggled out of the country soon after the raid earlier this year.

The burglary prompted immediate concern from council officials that they may never see the Nobel peace Prize again. It was originally awarded to Labour party founder Arthur Henderson in the 1930s.

Officials at the Nobel Foundation are normally reluctant to offer any replacement, but have agreed Newcastle’s case is “exceptional”.

They have now told the council they are prepared to hand over a £200, gold-plated bronze replica which they will seek to inscribe with any details the council has of the original.

An email to the council warns that “given the rarity of these medals, they are prone to theft, and a legend stating that this is a replica is always recommended.”

Last night Newcastle Council leader Nick Forbes said: “Ever since the theft we have been in contact with the Nobel Foundation and they have now agreed this is an exceptional circumstance which justifies a replacement.

“Like many people, I was devastated at the loss of the Nobel Peace Prize, which was a unique part of the city’s history. I’m absolutely delighted that the committee has made an exception and will give us a replica. It is clearly not the same as having the original back, but it is the next best thing.”

Brian Hindmarch was this week sentenced for his part in the Mansion House raid.

Hindmarch was the only member of the gang to be caught after cutting himself and leaving a trail of blood.

A few days earlier the thief also ransacked the home of a vulnerable pensioner, stealing goods worth more than £50,000 and leaving her devastated.

Now Hindmarch, who admitted two counts of burglary, has been locked up for six-and-a-half years.

Jailing him at Newcastle Crown Court, a judge said the items taken from the Mansion House were “irreplaceable”.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer