A century on, Bayeux tapestry 'vandal' is cleared





The Battle of Hastings is over. More than a century after her death, the young English woman accused of vandalising the most famous cartoon strip in the world, the Bayeux tapestry, recording the downfall of Harold and the triumph of William the Conqueror in 1066, has been cleared.

As a major international conference on the tapestry opens at the British Museum, archaeologist Michael Lewis has named the real villain who snipped a souvenir fragment from the border of the priceless textile: the 19th-century artist and antiquarian Charles Stothard, not his wronged wife Anna Eliza.

Although the outrage occurred almost 200 years ago, sharp-sighted visitors to the museum in the small French town of Bayeux - where visitors were once assured that Eliza, bored while her husband worked, attacked the town's greatest treasure - can still see the repair where a tiny patch of new fabric was stitched.



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