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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 June, 2005, 05:54 GMT 06:54 UK
Quilt tapestry 'stolen to order'
Chester Mystery Plays quilt
The quilt was made by an American textile artist
A handmade quilt depicting scenes from 14th Century Chester has been stolen from the city's cathedral.

The 6ft (1.8m) quilt, which is worth an estimated 13,000, is thought to have been stolen to order on 25 May.

It was made by American textile artist B.J. Elvgren, who was inspired after a visit to Chester Mystery Plays in 1992.

Chester Mystery Plays board bought the artwork and presented it to Chester Cathedral, where it has since been on permanent display.

'Greatly saddened'

The quilt was on show near the Cathedral Arch, where the original medieval plays were first performed.

The plays are medieval dramatisations of the Bible stories which portray God's intervention into human history.

Creator Ms Elvgren had been delighted that her Chester work had been hung in the cathedral.

She was "greatly saddened" at the news that it had been stolen.

"It represented not only considerable personal time and love in its making but was a special expression of appreciation to the Cathedral and city for the reinactments of the Mystery Plays.

"I hope and pray it can be recovered and again publically enjoyed. It is well enough known that no one should be comfortable in owning or displaying it," she said.

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