Press release

Bayeux Tapestry returns to the UK after more than 900 years

The Bayeux Tapestry will return to the UK for the first time since it was created here more than 900 years ago, Prime Minister Theresa May announced today.

Section of the Bayeux Tapestry
Section of the Bayeux Tapestry

The unique 70 metre long tapestry that depicts the 1066 Norman Conquest of Britain will be put on public display in 2022.

The exhibition has been announced to coincide with the UK-France summit taking place this week. The loan of the Tapestry will form part of a wider cultural exchange taking place between Britain and France over the next four years and marks a key milestone in the celebration of our shared history.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

Our shared history is reflected in the loan of the Bayeux Tapestry to the UK in 2022, the first time it will be on British soil in more than 900 years.

The loan of the Tapestry will form part of a wider cultural exchange taking place between Britain and France over the next four years.

I am honoured at the loan of such a precious piece of our shared history which yet again underscores the closeness of the UK-France relationship.

DCMS Secretary, Matt Hancock said:

France and Britain are global cultural leaders with a millennium long recorded history. The Bayeux Tapestry is a fundamental symbol of our history as neighbours. It’s arrival in the UK is a tribute to the strength of our relationship now and in the future.

We are committed to opening up the UK to the best culture and history the world has to offer. This year Liverpool will welcome the Terracotta Warriors from ancient China and we look forward to hosting the Bayeux Tapestry.

The UK is home to some of the leading museums in the world and by showcasing works of national and international interest we will ensure that the UK remains a go to destination for the arts and culture.

The tapestry was created in the UK in the eleventh century, shortly after the Battle of Hastings and has been on display in various locations in France since its completion. The Tapestry is now part of the UNESCO Memory of the World Register and depicts the Battle which saw William the Conqueror take the English throne in 1066.

The Tapestry will come to the UK while its current home, the Bayeux Museum, undergoes refurbishment in 2022. Further details of the exhibition, including exact dates and locations will be released in due course.

Published 18 January 2018