The 'message' behind Macron's loan of the Bayeux Tapestry to Britain


During Emmanuel Macron’s first official visit to Britain last Thursday, when Brexit, defence cooperation and immigration policies topped the agenda, the French president also announced the loan to Britain of the famous Bayeux Tapestry, the nearly 70-metre long, 11th-century embroidered cloth of images and commentary that recounts the 1066 Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror. Amid the many interpretations of Macron’s move, from simple goodwill gesture to tongue-in-cheek reminder of Britain’s continental roots, Joseph Confavreux turned to French university lecturer in mediaeval history Julien Théry for his analysis.

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The announcement last week by Emmanuel Macron that France is to lend Britain the 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry was described by the French presidential office as “a symbolic decision for France and perhaps even more so for the United Kingdom”.