Harrogate man's unique tribute to Michael Caine and The Italian Job movie

Harrogate art curator Mark Hinchliffe's The Italian Job bus makes a splash at Trafalgar Square in London.
Harrogate art curator Mark Hinchliffe's The Italian Job bus makes a splash at Trafalgar Square in London.
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The man behind the stunning restoration of The Chapel in Harrogate has been making international news this week with a new twist on classic 60s movie The Italian Job.

It's 50 years since the stylish crime caper, starring Michael Caine and Noël Coward, first became a hit with its story of a team of Brits going to Turin to pull off the ultimate gold bullion robbery utilising a fleet of Minis and a bus.

The Italian Job movie tribute - Mark Hinchliffe's coach wrapped in red, blue and white Union Jack livery pictured in London earlier this week.

The Italian Job movie tribute - Mark Hinchliffe's coach wrapped in red, blue and white Union Jack livery pictured in London earlier this week.

This week has seen Harrogate art collector, curator and designer Mark Hinchliffe devise his own exciting anniversary tribute, repeating the journey - though this time the mission has been to fly the flag for Britain at the Turin Film Festival and a famous Italian art fair.

Having successfully transformed the stunning grade II listed Chapel into a contemporary luxury, boutique b&b and art house, Mark has taken a stunningly repurposed bus packed with special guests all the way from Harrogate to Italy.

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Travelling in a coach wrapped in red, blue and white Union Jack livery, Mark and his own team of Brits, including artists Debbie Wilson and Richard Wilson RA and chefs from Stuzzi restaurant on Kings Road in Harrogate, have been showcasing the influence on Britain of Italian art, design, food and wine.

Mark told the Harrogate Advertiser, rather than it being a tricky cultural return in the context of Brexit, this living, moving art installation had been given a hero's welcome whereever it's gone this week.

And the new Italian Job bus caused a commotion outside the National Gallery in London and Trafalgar Square.

After setting off from Harrogate on Monday and travelled via London, France and Mont Blanc into Italy Mark and his talented crew are now in Turin.

In the original movie, the bus Michael Caine and co drove in a humble 1964 Bedford VAL with its Harrington Legionnaire body.

But, with the support of York Pullman coaches, Mark Hinchliffe and co have been travelling in a luxurious modern coach boasting reclining seats and its own kitchen.

After receiving pride of place at the Artissima Art Fair in the Italian city famously featured in the cult movie, the entourage will set off for the return leg to Harrogate on Sunday night to get the ferry back to dear old Blighty.

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