Emmanuel Macron 'agrees to loan Bayeux Tapestry to Britain for first time'

Tom Powell
Bayeux Tapestry: the artwork depicts the Battle of Hastings and the Norman conquest of England: Getty Images

The Bayeux Tapestry is set to be displayed in Britain after Emmanuel Macron reportedly agreed to let it leave France for the first time in almost a millennium.

The 70-metre tapestry, which depicts the Norman conquest of England after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, is set to be loaned to the UK from its current location in Normandy.

President Macron is expected to announce the landmark move at a summit with Theresa May in Berkshire on Thursday, according to the Times.

The artwork’s loan is believed to have involved drawn-out talks between both countries’ culture departments, lasting several months.

The tapestry shows William the Conqueror addressing his troops before battle (Getty Images)

The Prime Minister is expected to hail the decision as a sign of the enduring bond between the UK and France amid tensions over a future Brexit deal.

The tapestry last left its home at the Bayeux Museum in 1945, when it was displayed in the Louvre, Paris, after being seized from the Nazis.

Emmanuel Macron is expected to agree the deal in principle on Thursday (REUTERS)

The UK loan is reportedly being scheduled for five years’ time, with no location yet decided for where it will be displayed.

Previous attempts to bring the tapestry to Britain have ended in failure, most recently for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and the 900-year anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1966.

The director of the Bayeux museum told the Times that the loan move was dependent on tests to ascertain whether the tapestry could be safely transported without suffering damage.

There has long been a debate among historians as to where the tapestry was created, with some arguing it was made in Canterbury, Kent.

The only full-size copy of the Bayeux Tapestry is currently located in Reading Museum, where it has been since 1985.

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