Conservation, Getty Foundation, Philanthropy

Website Offers Insider’s View of Westminster Abbey’s Cosmati Pavement Conservation Project

The first coat of microcrystalline wax being applied to the surface of the Cosmati Pavement. Courtesy of Westminster Abbey

The Cosmati Pavement, the incredible medieval tile mosaic floor in front of Westminster Abbey’s High Altar, where Prince William and Kate Middleton took their vows last year, was rarely visible in past due to its age and condition, but all that has changed—the floor was conserved thanks in part to a grant from the Getty Foundation.

This year, a new website just launched by the Abbey reveals exactly how the Cosmati pavement was brought back to life by the two-year conservation project. Westminster Abbey reportedly commissioned more than 40 films to document the progress of the work, and that wealth of information is now available online. These film snippets offer a front-row seat for the conservation of this medieval masterpiece, and provide a great scholarly resource as well.

In addition to a treasure trove of videos, the website also features an interactive map of the pavement, some fantastic before-and-after pictures, and a timeline charting the history of the pavement. It’s addictive!

We wrote about the Cosmati Pavement project last year on The Iris, and you can find that original post here.

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  1. irene stewart
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Visiting London end of July absolutely love to see the Cosmati pavement is there an inexpensive way of accessing a viewing

    • Annelisa Stephan
      Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Hi Irene, The Cosmati Pavement is part of Westminster Abbey in London, located in front of the High Altar. The Abbey does charge admission, currently £18.00 for adults (about $30 US). Admission fees help with the Abbey’s maintenance. It is worth the price of admission to see such a marvelous building, I hope you get a chance to enjoy it if you are in London! —Annelisa / Iris editor

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