Philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer
Philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer

A RAGS to riches story is unfolding in poverty-stricken County Durham in the UK.

Unassuming former mining town Bishop Auckland is set to house some of Spain’s greatest golden age masterpieces.

A former bank, school and pizzeria, Barrington House, is to be overhauled to become a €7.6 million Spanish art gallery and research institute housing work by El Greco, Ribera and Velazquez.

It is all thanks to philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer whose vision led him to donate  €35 million to conserve and protect the nearby bishop dwelling Auckland Castle.

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