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Bayeux Tapestry set to return to UK in 2022 after Hancock signs deal

A section of The Bayeux Tapestry (Bayeux Museum/PA)
A section of The Bayeux Tapestry (Bayeux Museum/PA)

The UK and France have reached a milestone agreement towards securing the return of the Bayeux Tapestry to the UK in 2022.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock signed a memorandum of understanding in Paris with French culture minister Francoise Nyssen, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced.

The agreement will see both countries work together to produce a full English translation of the almost 1,000-year-old tapestry.

The deal, which “sets out a period of cross-Channel cooperation between universities and research institutes”, will also consider the use of technology in making the tapestry accessible to future generations, the DCMS said.

Mr Hancock said: “The Bayeux Tapestry is a world treasure and a symbol of the deep ties between Britain and France.

“This agreement takes us a step closer to bringing the Tapestry to our shores for the first time in almost a millennium. It also underlines the ongoing commitment from both nations for greater cultural, digital and scientific collaboration now and into the future.

“We are incredibly excited about the potential of the loan, to enhance further the bonds that tie us to our neighbours across the water”.

The tapestry, which depicts the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, will be loaned to the UK in 2022 while the Bayeux Museum, where it is currently housed, is being refurbished.

It will be on display to the British public, with locations to be announced in the future.

The 70m-long tapestry has travelled and been displayed around France, and is part of the Unesco Memory of the World Register.

It was made in England in the 11th century.

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