Councillor launches calls to bring Bayeux Tapestry to Portsmouth for 2020 loan from France
A CITY councillor has called for the Bayeux Tapestry to come to Portsmouth when it is loaned to the UK in 2020.
In a letter to former minister of Portsmouth MP Matt Hancock, the government’s secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Cllr Steve Pitt said the city’s ‘unrivalled heritage’ would make it the perfect home for the work during its stay from France.
The 11th Century embroidered cloth, which is nearly 70m in length, depicts the events leading to the Norman conquest of England in 1066.
In his correspondence to Mr Hancock, Cllr Pitt – a Liberal Democrat – said: ‘As you will know from your time as minister for our city, we have an unrivalled heritage offer here and most importantly the presence of the ‘partner’ D-Day Embroidery [the Overlord Tapestry], which would provide a unique opportunity to showcase the D-Day Museum, which is due to re-open in the spring, following a major refurbishment.
‘It would be fantastic if Portsmouth could once again prove it is capable of showcasing heritage like no other.’
Cabinet member for culture, leisure at sport at Portsmouth City Council, Linda Symes, said hosting the tapestry would be ‘hard work’.
She said: ‘You need to maintain the perfect conditions to look after an embroidered piece like this, and while we would of course love it here, that would be very hard work to achieve.’
The county council has also offered to host the tapestry at the Great Hall of Winchester Castle.