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The painstaking job of restoring some of the world's finest ancient tapestries, stitch by stitch, is not for the highly strung or restless.Based in the northern Flemish town of Mechelen, the Royal Manufacturers De Wit was founded in 1889 and is currently the biggest restorer of old tapestries in the world, based on the value of the pieces it restores.There is also a collection of 29 enormous tapestries from Saint John's Co-Cathedral in Malta, which the restorers have been gradually working through over the past dozen years in a project estimated at around 1 million dollars.De Wit recalls the stress of a "very dangerous operation," to remove a 9-meter by 14-meter tapestry suspended 25 meters high in the entry hall of the United Nations building in New York, using "gigantic scaffolding".The company makes its own silk and cotton threads to match the original historic colors as closely as possible.
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