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Precious tapestry back in Moritzburg Castle

A precious tapestry can be seen in an exhibition. / Photo: Matthias Rietschel/dpa/Archivbild
A precious tapestry can be seen in an exhibition. / Photo: Matthias Rietschel/dpa/Archivbild

After a good year and a half, the historical tapestry with the portrait of Emperor Charles V that was recovered for Moritzburg Castle near Dresden is now on permanent display. A special climate-controlled display case first had to be made to protect the almost 500-year-old exhibit made of silk, gold and silver threads, as the castle management announced on Tuesday. The artwork was acquired with financial support from the Kulturstiftung der Länder and the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung in the summer of 2022 and returned to Saxony.

The signed artwork, which measures around four square meters, was woven in Leipzig in 1545 by a textile artist from Flanders and shows a half-length portrait of the Habsburg Emperor Charles V (1500-1558). It was part of the furnishings of the then new Dresden residential palace of Elector Moritz of Saxony, who owed his title to the emperor. From 1918, the tapestry was owned by the Albertine branch of the Wettin dynasty following the division of princely property and was included on the Reich's lists of nationally valuable cultural assets in 1924, 1927 and 1938.

At the end of the Second World War in 1945, the tapestry was one of the few objects that Prince Ernst Heinrich, son of the last Saxon king, took with him when he fled from the Red Army. Decades later, the Wettin heirs sold it to a gallery in Munich. Its reappearance at the Tefaf 2020 art fair in Maastricht opened up the opportunity to reclaim it - after 77 years.

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