Newcastle lost its Nobel Prize medal in thefts PIC: Reuters
Newcastle lost its Nobel Prize medal in thefts PIC: Reuters

Newcastle is to get a second Nobel peace prize thanks to an "exceptional" move by the foundation which dishes out the prestigious honour.

But the new medal will be handed to the council in very different circumstances, because it is a replacement for a stolen original which city leaders fear will now never be found.

Thieves took the peace medal, originally conferred upon local politician Arthur Henderson, from the Lord Mayor of Newcastle's official residence during a £150,000 raid in April, in which several precious civic heirlooms were taken. Attempts to locate the Nobel prize medal have failed.

But council leaders have persuaded the Nobel Foundation to supply a bronze plated replacement costing £200.

Council leader Nick Forbes told local title The Journal: "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."

It is feared the Nobel medal has left the country and will never return. It was originally awarded to Labour politician Henderson in 1934, for his efforts to build peace through international disarmament in the years between the First and Second World Wars.

Only one member of the organised gang behind the theft from Mansion House has been caught. Brian Hindmarch, 21, was traced by a trail of blood he left at the scene after cutting his hand.

At Newcastle Crown Court this week, Hindmarch was jailed for six and a half years.