The life of the Tapestry is marked by troubled episodes that placed it in danger or deteriorated it. Its lucky star however has brought it back to us.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame has twice been damaged in a fire, but the Tapestry, which was kept there, was untouched.
In 1792, the Tapestry was used as a tarpaulin to cover a wagon loaded with weapons leaving Bayeux for Paris. Lambert-Léonard le Forestier, captain of the National Guard and an important member of the regional government, saved it and put it in a safe place in his office.
On 23 February 1794, the members of the regional Arts Committee protected it. The Tapestry was going to be cut up and used to decorate a cart in the Festival of Reason.
During the 19th century, several pieces and threads of the Tapestry disappeared. A fragment somehow came into the hands of an English illustrator, Charles Stothard, (a gift? a theft? No one knows) before being restored to the town of Bayeux by Kensington Museum in 1871.
In the 19th century, the Tapestry was rolled around a cylinder. To exhibit it, it had to be rolled around a second cylinder. This inappropriate means of preservation did a lot of damage due to repeated scraping, especially at the two extremities.