Tapestry Museum

TAPESTRY MUSEUM

 The tapestries were donated by Monsignor Antonio Lombardo from Messina, with Padoano di Costa Notary Public, at Marsala Cathedral on July 10th, 1589.

The legend tells that the Queen of England, Mary Tudor I , Henry VIII’s daughter, found shelter from a heavy storm in the port of Marsala where she was Monsignor’s guest. 
After marrying Philip II, she became Queen of Spain to which all Sicilian towns paid a tax.

It was Archbishop Monsignor Antonio Lombardo who sailed to Spain with the purpose of obtaining the exemption of these taxes from the Queen. 
He was successful and came back to Marsala with the permission to not pay the taxes, and these beautiful tapestries.

 It is difficult to attribute them either to Spanish or rather Flemish manufactures.  They bear a shield-shaped mark with two B’s on its sides, as is found on Brussels tapestries.

Second tapestry
Agrippa, King of Tiberias, with women and children, begs Vespasian.  The emperor looks menacing, and the Tiberias inhabitants kneel as a sign of submission.  The background depicts the robbery of the Roman soldiers and near the fortified town of Tiberias there are the thieves with the loot.

Tapestry - open

Third tapestry.
Vespasian is crowned emperor by dignitaries and important citizens. The nomination is given to him by the soldiers at Nero’s death.
The sword and globe handed to him are the auspices of the imperial power on the whole Roman domain.