Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Britain, France to sign new immigration treaty during Macron visit

Britain, France to sign new immigration treaty during Macron visit

One of Europe's most iconic works of art, the Bayeux Tapestry, is to leave France for the first time in 950 years to be put on display in Britain, reports have claimed.

According to The Times, Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce the loan of the artwork when he meets Theresa May at Sandhurst on Thursday.

A French official said issues of unaccompanied children, asylum requests, border police cooperation and possible British support to the economic development of the Calais region will be part of the new agreement, which is still being discussed.

The newspaper said that the loan was likely to take place in about five years, and details including the location at which the tapestry would be displayed in England had yet to be decided.

The invasion of England by Duke William of Normandy, better known as William the Conqueror, and his victory over the Anglo-Saxon King Harold at the Battle of Hastings, changed the course of English history.

The Times reported that the proposed loan, which was subject to tests being carried out to ensure that the tapestry would not be damaged, was the result of months of talks between culture ministry officials on both sides of the Channel.

The tapestry shows William the Conqueror's battle against Harold, Earl of Wessex, and has been on display in Normandy for centuries.

While the invasion depicted in the tapestry marked a sour point in Anglo-French relations, the loan will be seen as a sign of solidarity between the two nations amid hard Brexit negotiations.

The first written record of it is in 1476 when it was recorded in the Bayeux cathedral treasury as "a very long and narrow hanging on which are embroidered figures and inscriptions comprising a representation of the conquest of England".

The work is now exhibited in the Bayeux Museum in Normandy.

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