The pieces were stored next to the cathedral’s boiler

Experimental software developed to reassemble Cold War documents may soon shed light on the mysteries surrounding around 5,000 medieval stained-glass fragments from Coventry Cathedral, as well as on the work of John Thornton, one of England’s greatest stained-glass artists. The British arm of the World Monuments Fund is funding a project to prevent the glass from deteriorating.

The glass was removed from the cathedral before German air raids left the building a shattered ruin during the Second World War. The majority of the pieces have remained disassembled ever since, and have been stored in poor conditions next to the building’s boiler.

The chief executive of the World Monuments Fund, Jonathan Foyle, says that, to a medievalist, “it is like rediscovering [a painting from] Picasso’s blue period in fragments in a basement. It is a magnificent puzzle.”


Robert Bevan
The Art Newspaper