By Le Figaro with AFP
These pieces of the 15the century, the most emblematic of which represents the baptism of Clovis by Bishop Saint Remi, will be presented, after their restoration, to the public this weekend on the occasion of heritage days.
The first three of ten tapestries from the life of Saint Remi, a work from the beginning of the 16th centurye century retracing the life of the bishop who baptized Clovisare back in Reims after their restoration in Belgium. They will be presented to the public for European Heritage Days.
These three pieces, the most emblematic of which represents the baptism of Clovis by Bishop Saint Remi, benefit from a completely redesigned scenography, in the museum adjoining the Saint-Remi Basilica. They were the subject of a dusting, cleaning and restoration campaign, including the installation of a lightweight linen lining at the royal factory De Wit (Belgium), a world reference in the field. The cost of the operation for all ten tapestries amounts to 350,000 euros. “This is the largest ongoing tapestry conservation campaign in France», Said Pierre Maes, director of the manufacture during a presentation to the press.
The other pieces will gradually return to Reims, four in 2024, the last in 2025. Listed as Historic Monuments since 1896, these tapestries are “exceptional» by their size, five meters by five, and “because they constitute a series which tells a story in its entirety», highlighted Bénédicte Hernu, director of the historical museums of the City of Reims. The tapestries, which had no longer been presented to the public since 2017 to protect them from the harmful effects of light, had been commissioned by the Archbishop of Reims, Robert de Lenoncourt, admiring his illustrious predecessor who, in the Ve century, baptized Clovis I, king of the Franks, in Reims.
In 1916, during the First World War, nine pieces of the ensemble were evacuated to Paris to escape bombing. Remaining in Reims, the tenth would have been riddled with bullets, according to some accounts. Its future restoration by the De Wit factory should allow us to be clear about it.
Saint-Remi Museum – 53 rue Simon – 51100 Reims, every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.