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Bayeux Tapestry to be loaned to Britain for public display

Duke William (centre) with Odo (left)Duke William (centre) with Odo (left)On 18th January 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the Bayeux Tapestry will be loaned to Britain for public display—probably at the British Museum in London in 2022. Some work will need to be done on the 70-metre (230-foot) Tapestry to ensure it is safe for it to be moved. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the sequence of events leading up to and including the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It shows William the Conqueror, then Duke of Normandy, crossing the Channel with his army to seize the English crown from King Harold. It will be the first time that the Tapestry has left France in 950 years.


Detail of stitchingDetail of stitching

The story of the Tapestry

Scholars think the Bayeux Tapestry was made in the 1070s, shortly after the Battle of Hastings. It was probably commissioned by William the Conqueror's half-brother, Bishop Odo (who, after the Conquest, became Earl of Kent), for display in Bayeux Cathedral, which was also built by Odo around the same time. Many historians believe that the Tapestry was designed and constructed English artists. The work of stitching was most likely undertaken in Kent by female needleworkers; at the time, the quality of their work was famous across Europe.  

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