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Tuesday, 10 February 2015 12:30

The V&A Raises Funds to Acquire the Wolsey Angels

The Victoria and Albert Museum has raised funds to buy four bronze angels originally designed for the tomb of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Henry VIII's influential advisor. The V&A said last year it would cost £5 million to secure the figurines.

The statues are "a vital part of our national history and artistic heritage," director Martin Roth said. The cardinal, who appears in Hilary Mantel's novel Wolf Hall - currently being shown on BBC1 - died in 1530.

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A national fundraising campaign has been launched to buy four bronze angels that shine a light on the tempestuous relationship between Henry VIII and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.

The Victoria and Albert Museum needs £5m to buy the sculptures that, for centuries, were thought lost. The museum already has half the money, thanks to £2m from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and £500,000 from the Art Fund.

The angels were originally commissioned by Wolsey for his tomb. He hoped that they would have sat spectacularly on top of four 9ft (2.75 metres) tall bronze columns.

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