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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 April, 2004, 05:16 GMT 06:16 UK
Giant mosaic to move to new home
The Woodchester Pavement
The replica pavement took eight years to create
A copy of an ancient Roman mosaic could be about to find a new home at a Gloucestershire abbey.

The Woodchester Pavement replica was made by two brothers after they visited the original - which is buried in a churchyard near Stroud - in the 1970s.

Until now the huge artwork has only been displayed in parts, and on special occasions.

But now there are plans to exhibit it permanently in the recently closed pottery at Prinknash Abbey.

Also known as the Orpheus Pavement, the original mosaic was made of one-and-a-half million pieces of stone.

The Woodchester Pavement
The idea is that everybody owns it and everybody can enjoy it and come to see it whenever they like.
Adrian Jones
manager, Prinknash Abbey

It was last uncovered in 1973, when 140,000 people viewed it, but is unlikely to be revealed again.

The replica took brothers Bob and John Woodward eight years to create and has been acclaimed by academics for its accuracy and beauty.

Adrian Jones, the general manager of Prinknash Abbey, said: "We are hoping to set up a trust company which can own and manage the pavement on behalf of the people of Gloucestershire and the UK as a whole.

"The idea is that everybody owns it and everybody can enjoy it and come to see it whenever they like."

Bob Woodward said: "I think it is vitally important for Gloucestershire.

"There is no way you can see the original mosaic - I believe there are no plans for it to ever be opened up again - but here is an opportunity to see the Roman mosaic in all its glory with all its missing pieces filled in."

A temporary exhibition, showing about two thirds of the mosaic, will open in the summer, and there are plans to build a second storey on top of the pottery in order to display the whole pavement.

Mosaic 'could leave Britain'
05 Sep 01  |  UK News


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