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Monday, 13 May, 2002, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Cash appeal for tapestry casing
Prince Charles at his Highgrove home
Prince Charles put the last stitch into the tapestry
An appeal has been made for 350,000 for the world's longest tapestry to be placed in a sealed showcase

The New World Tapestry, which is on show in Devon, is 267 feet long and was made over a 20-year period.

Contributors to its creation include the Prince of Wales, who placed the last stitch on the tapestry in 2000.

Fundraisers are planning to take the tapestry to the USA as part of the drive to raise the cash.

Golden wool

Up to 256 volunteers embroidered 39 million stitches on the tapestry, which depicts English colonisation attempts in the likes of America and Bermuda, between 1585 and 1642.

American Ambassador Kingman Brewster inserted the first stitch in 1980, while Prince Charles used golden wool to place the last one at Highgrove House.

The New World Tapestry
The New World Tapestry took 20 years to sew
Other stitches - also in golden wool - were inserted over the years by the Queen, the late Queen Mother, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal and the Duchess of Gloucester.

The tapestry is currently on show at Coldharbour Mill museum in Uffculme, Devon.

Its designer, Tom Mor, wants to raise the funds to enclose the tapestry's 24 panels - each 11 feet long and four feet deep - in sealed display cases.

The cases will protect it from the effects of temperature changes, humidity and insects.

Mr Mor has created a fund-raising group called Adventurers for Virginia, which will work on both sides of the Atlantic.

The group takes it name from a tapestry panel specially created for the fund-raising drive, which was made by a group of volunteers in Lyme Regis, Dorset.

Mayor's viewing

The panel is dedicated to the work of 18 London livery companies that, in 1620, gave money to support settlements in Virginia.

The panel was started in 1997 by the Lord Mayor of London, and was finished this year - except for the word Virginia, the stitches for which are reserved for patrons of the new fund-raising drive.

Mr Mor said: "I am going to show the panel to the Lord Mayor, then take it on a fund-raising tour in the United States.

"I hope this will end with the final stitches being inserted by the Governor of Virginia and the Lord Mayor of London."

Click here to go to Devon
See also:

31 Oct 01 | Wales
Fishguard tapestry homeless
17 Jul 01 | Scotland
Tapestry found in litter bin
15 Jun 00 | UK
Millennium tapestry saved
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