Open letter from Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer to the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP regarding the Bayeux Tapestry.
Dear Prime Minister,
I hope you're well.
During President Macron's recent visit to the United Kingdom, I was interested to hear that he's proposing lending us the Bayeux Tapestry. I thought this was a very nice gesture and appreciate that its early stages as the exact details are yet to be worked out and it could be a number of years before the Bayeux Tapestry comes to the UK, but I wanted to take the opportunity to make the case for Ely to be the host city.
There appears to be an assumption by many that if the Bayeux Tapestry does come to the UK, it will reside in London. Clearly, there is some reasoning for this but I think it would be wrong. London doesn't have the strongest historical claim to host the tapestry and I believe it would be a missed opportunity to put the spotlight on somewhere other than London.
Ely is well served by road and rail and easy to get to from most parts of the country, unlike other rival settlements such as Battle and Colchester. Moreover, in my view, Ely has the strongest historical claim. In many ways, the events of 1066 had their routes in Ely with King Edward the Confessor being educated at The King's School, Ely. Furthermore, is there anywhere else other than Ely where the legacy of 1066 shines as brightly as Ely with its stunning Cathedral built by the Normans. Of course, the reason the Cathedral was built was because Hereward the Wake was the last person to hold out against the Norman invaders.
Ely is a stunning city and hosting the Bayeux Tapestry would be a huge boost for the area. If the tapestry was hosted in Ely, millions from across the country wouldn't just be able to take in the wonder of the Bayeux Tapestry but also the majestic splendour of one of the world's great cathedrals.
I would be grateful if you could take on board my recommendation and keep me updated as to the process as to how the host city will be selected.
Mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough