Bayeux tapestry visits Britain

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Anglo-Saxon soldiers during the Battle of Hastings | Image Credit: Getty Images

The Bayeux Tapestry is to leave France for the first time in 950 years according to the Times. The French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce the loan of the tapestry during his visit to the UK on Thursday.  The newspaper claims the agreement was made after “months of talks between culture department officials in London and Paris” but it has not been decided where the tapestry will be displayed.

Over 900 years old, the 70 metre coloured embroidery depicts the Norman takeover of Britain in the 11th century. Although the origins of the tapestry are unclear it still offers historians insight into the Battle of Hastings as well as life in the Middle Ages. It is also thought that the story of King Harold II dying from an arrow in the eye came from this depiction. However earlier sources claimed he was hacked to death by four Norman knights.

The question remains as to whether the tapestry can be moved safely due to its size, age and fragility. However this would present an opportunity to new historical research on the dyes and fabrics used.

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