Westminster Abbey to get makeover in time for the royal weddingDecember 5th, 2010 - 3:03 pm ICT by ANI
London, Dec 5 (ANI): The wedding venue for Prince William and Kate Middleton, Westminster Abbey, is set to get a makeover.
The Abbey, which is expected to host up to 3,000 guests at the royal wedding in April, including Royals and heads of state from around the world, will undergo a major conservation programme to restore its most precious works of art.
It will receive a grant from an American bank to conserve more than 10 of its most important treasures.
Among the artefacts to be restored in the run-up to the wedding include the Cosmati Pavement, the medieval tile mosaic in front of the High Altar where the couple are expected to take their vows.
A 14th century portrait of King Richard II, which hangs on a pillar by the Great West Door and will be one of the first things that members of the wedding procession see as they enter the Abbey, will also be restored.
Painted on wooden panels circa 1398, it depicts the king enthroned in coronation robes, holding a sceptre and orb, and is the earliest known contemporary painted portrait of an English sovereign.
The picture, thought to have been painted by the French artist Andre Beauneveu, has long been in need of conservation, which will include rejoining the joints between the wooden panels that have gradually separated, and cleaning the picture’s surface.
Other key pieces from the Abbey’s collection that will be restored in the coming months include a painting of Queen Elizabeth I dating from 1594; Queen Mary II’s wooden coronation chair made in 1689; and the Liber Regalis, a 14th century manuscript describing how a coronation is carried out, which was made for the crowning of Ann of Bohemia, the consort queen of Richard II, and has provided the basis for the order of service for all subsequent coronations.
“This is certainly one of the largest donations we have received, and we are thrilled to have been considered alongside major art institutions such as the Louvre and the Hermitage,” the Telegraph quoted Dr Tony Trowles, the head of collections at Westminster Abbey, as saying.
“We are delighted that we will be able to conserve and restore so many of our most treasured pieces in the Abbey’s collection.
“While we have an ongoing commitment to maintain the collection, the Abbey will certainly be under the spotlight in the coming months and we want to make sure that it looks as good as we can make it come April,” Trowles added. (ANI)
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