The famous Bayeux Tapestry will leave France for the first time in 950 years and is to be displayed in the UK. The tapestry displays the Battle of Hastings that started the Anglo-Saxon period in England after William the Conquerer’s success over King Harold.
French President, Emanuel Macron is expected to announce the location the Bayeux Tapestry will have during its loan in the UK today during his meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May.
Dr. Simon Yarrow, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Birmingham discussed the importance of the tapestry:
“Depicting the battle of Hastings, this moment where the Duke of Normandy, William attempts to invade and successfully conquers (1066), is a key moment in French and English historiography, it’s a vital source for that particular moment”
Robert Neil, President of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA), one of the city’s oldest cultural institutions, had some suggestions where he would want the tapestry to be displayed:
“I’d like it to be somewhere other than London. Others will benefit far more from the display of something with that much significance, more than London would ever benefit. I’d wouldn’t mind it being showed in Birmingham, but I doubt that’s going to happen”
The tapestry marks a not only a significant moment in the history-shaping of the UK but is also an early example of history being written by the victors. Throughout the tapestry, there are vivid battle scenes most notably the death of Harold after being shot through the eye with an arrow.
This is seen as a hugely important agreement between France and Britain, especially in the climate of Brexit. It suggests that the relationship between the two countries hopes to continue strongly, even after the UK leaves the EU.
Watch: The Animated Bayeux Tapestry