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Bayeux Tapestry coming to Britain for first time in 950 years


The Bayeux Tapestry is set to be loaned to a British museum for the first time in nearly a millennium.

The artwork, which is nine centuries old and depicts the Norman conquest of England after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, will leave French shores for the first time in 950 years, subject to tests to ensure it is safe to move.

According to multiple reports, the move will be confirmed by French president Emmanuel Macron on Thursday (18 January), when he meets British prime minister Theresa May at Sandhurst military academy for an Anglo-French summit.

It comes after months of negotiations between the British and French governments and May will use the deal to symbolise the strength of Anglo-French relations ahead of Brexit.

A location for the piece in the UK is still to be determined.

The artwork is 70m (229ft) long and 50cm high. Its origins are disputed, with some historians arguing it was created in Kent, while others saying it was made in Bayeux, France, shortly after the battle in the 11th century.

It is currently on display at the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Normandy and is rarely moved – going on display twice in Paris at the request of Napoleon in 1804 and then in 1944 when the city was under Nazi occupation.

Previous attempts to bring the tapestry to the UK proved unsuccessful – once in recognition of the Queen’s 1953 coronation and then in 1966 to commemorate the 900-year anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

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