The famous Bayeux Tapestry is to be loaned to the UK for an exhibition, after French president Emmanuel Macron gave the go-ahead.
It will be the first time the 70 metre-long tapestry has left France for 950 years. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the story of the Norman Conquest, which resulted in William I taking the throne and uniting the country.
William the Conqueror fought at Battle, near Hastings, in 1066, winning against Harald Godwinson, also Harald II.
Although it is called a tapestry, it is in fact an embroidery stitched with 10 shades of woollen yarn.
The British Museum will exhibit the piece, probably in 2022, after years of discussions. The decision is expected to be announced by the French President today, at a meeting with Theresa May in Berkshire.
Hartwig Fischer, director of the British Museum, said he would be ‘honoured and delighted’ to display the embroidered item, calling the loan “a gesture of extraordinary generosity”.
The Bayeux Tapestry is on permanent display at a museum in the town of Bayeux, in Normandy, and has very rarely been moved.
Reading Museum, which has its own replica of the piece, says it was probably commissioned in the 1070s by the half-brother of William the Conqueror, the Bishop Odo of Bayeux. It is thought a group of nuns created it in Canterbury, but the French dispute this.