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Explore the Unicorn Tapestries

In the Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum, ropes and guards prevent visitors from getting too close to the Unicorn Tapestries and possibly damaging them. This new Web site provides a chance to jump the rope, disregard the guard, and get a really close look at these medieval masterpieces. Several sections of the site are primarily designed for close examination. A Closer Look allows viewers to magnify any section of any tapestry by selecting with the mouse, while Flowers, Plants, and Trees and The Birds and the Beasts provide both close-ups and extensive information about details of the tapestries. For example, find out that the lily woven into the Unicorn in Captivity is a Madonna lily, or Lilium candidum, symbolic of the Virgin Mary in the Middle Ages and able to predict if a pregnant woman would bear a boy or girl -- when presented with a lily and a rose, a woman who chose the lily would have a boy, and the one who chose the rose, a girl. Other sections of the site include audio and video of Metropolitan Museum director Phillipe de Montebello telling the story of the hunt of the Unicorn, and David Rockefeller relating how his father acquired the tapestries and donated them to the Met, as well as information on how tapestries are woven, the sport of hunting in medieval times, and the Cloisters.
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Date of Scout Publication
April 4th, 2003
Date Of Record Creation
April 17th, 2003 at 12:26pm
Date Of Record Release
April 17th, 2003 at 12:26pm
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