Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Friday, 1 January 2010

Great Orpheus Roman mosaic replica up for sale

The site of the real Woodchester Pavement - a churchyard near Stroud
The real Roman pavement is buried beneath a churchyard near Stroud

A replica of a Roman pavement worth about £1m and currently on show at an abbey in Gloucestershire is for sale as it is not attracting enough visitors.

The original mosaic, the Great Orpheus Roman Pavement, was part of a floor of a Roman villa in Woodchester and is now buried in the village churchyard.

The real pavement, thought to date from AD 325, was last shown in 1973 and was seen by 140,000 people in 50 days.

It was decided not to unearth it again for its own protection.

The reconstruction took 10 years, using 1.6 million pieces of clay.

It was made by brothers Bob and John Woodward, who come from nearby Stroud, and was acclaimed by academics for its accuracy and beauty.

The replica is owned by entrepreneur Alex Lawless and was valued at £1m by the British Museum in 1988.

Adrian Jones, of Prinknash Abbey where the replica is currently on display, said: "We found that the popularity of the pavement has waned since the initial publicity.

"There was supposed to be an organisation that was going to promote it, but that didn't come to fruition and we don't have the resources to promote it.

"So the owner has decided he's going to sell it in June this year. "

The exhibition will close to the public on 10 January and the replica will be stored at the abbey in Cranham near Brockworth for six months.



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SEE ALSO
Visitor centre to showcase mosaic
22 Mar 05 |  Gloucestershire
Giant mosaic to move to new home
01 Apr 04 |  Gloucestershire
Woodchester Pavement in pictures
01 Apr 04 |  Photo Gallery
Mosaic 'could leave Britain'
05 Sep 01 |  UK News

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