France | Horizon meticulous restoration of bayou fabric

Bayou is an “old lady” dear to the British and needs about fifty to get around. For nearly a thousand years and weakened by countless small damages along a length of 70 meters, the Bayeux tapestry that tells of the conquest of England will be restored.


Chloe Coppio
France Media

“She is an old lady who is nearly a thousand years old, a very fine linen cloth embroidered with wool with many deviations. In case of danger, any manipulation of the work in its current state may lead to further adjustments. This is the main reason for this intervention,” he explains Agence France-Presse Antoine Werney, chief curator of the museum in Bayeux (northwest), where this “monument” is located.

Like a comic strip on canvas, it tells the story of William, Duke of Normandy, invaded England between 1064 and 1066.

In January 2020, eight restoration workers specializing in textiles were examined by CM2 Per cm2At a rate of one meter per day, each textile expert is eleventhH Century is listed as a UNESCO World Monument, possibly designed in Canterbury.

Among the hundreds of characters and animals that abound on the canvas, they noticed in particular the nearly 24,200 spots and 10,000 craters, according to a “case report” published in February.

Reforms made in the past and “the exceptional dimensions of this work give the impression of an overall good state of maintenance” but “the structural condition of the fabric, the backing of the embroidery, is very fragile and disturbing, rendering any delicate manipulation”, we can read in their report. The last reforms date back to 1870.

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What about these terms of the “potential loan” to work in the United Kingdom that Paris and London mentioned in 2018? “No decision has been taken yet on the potential loan,” the regional directorate for cultural affairs told AFP on Tuesday.s AC).

However, “the observation showed that the work was not transferable before it was restored,” adds Dr.s Alternating current.

Minimum of 18 working months

For Bayeux’s deputy mayor in charge of tourism, Loïc Jamin, there is no doubt letting the business go “once you get back”. Repairs must take place at the same time as the closure of the rebuilding work for the Textile Museum, beginning in the fall of 2024 and for a period of at least 18 months.

Before the health crisis, the fabric was attracting 400,000 visitors a year, 70% of whom were foreigners. Its restoration “today is estimated at 2 million euros”, according to the state, without knowing anywhere, necessarily close to where it was preserved, that would be able to accommodate the restoration of a huge work like fragility.

The English loaning of this first copy in Tire will be a major episode in the history of Northwestern Europe will be the first. It has already been considered twice, to no avail: in 1953 for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and in 1966 for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.H Memory of the Battle of Hastings, at its end William, Duke of Normandy, becomes King of England.

Just to move the work into its narrow technical room for case report, it was necessary to “mobilize a team of over 50 perfectly coordinated people who are accustomed to doing this movement. It’s a process within the process,” Mr. Fernie stresses.

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The idea of ​​restoration is not intended to clean all stains or erase all deterioration, risking further damage to the linen fabric. It is rather a matter of “fixing” the work.

Some alterations are of historical significance, such as these wax traces that may have leaked from the candles of Bayeux Cathedral, where the tapestry was exhibited in the 15th century.H century.

On the other hand, what is most alarming for the future of work are the holes observed on the fabric, whether they result from hanging nails or from fabric wear. The fabric also has folds that are particularly attached to the lining, which is now very tight.

The “old lady” who weighs just under 15 kg is so tired that she will be tilted and will not return vertically at the end of work.

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