Fishbourne Roman Palace starts brush-up for 2,000-year-old mosaics


he world-renowned mosaics at Fishbourne Roman Palace are getting a spruce-up ahead of the heritage site reopening on Saturday.

The site, near Chichester, West Sussex, is home to the largest collection of in-situ Roman mosaics in the country.

With the attraction due to reopen to the public on February 11, a team of conservators has been delicately cleaning the 2,000-year-old decorative floors.

Each of the 29 mosaics takes up to 10 hours to clean as a small fine brush is used to sweep the dust away, charity Sussex Past, which owns the site, said.

Fishbourne Roman Palace curator Dr Rob Symmons said: “We’re proud to be the guardians of probably the finest collection of in-situ mosaics in the country.

“It’s what we’re famous for and it’s what many of our visitors come to see, so keeping them clean is vital.

“Just the smallest amount of dust will attract creatures who feed off that and they will attract slightly bigger creatures and so on, which could cause untold damage to these incredibly important pieces.”

Work ahead of reopening is focused on the Cupid riding on a dolphin mosaic, which was first laid in AD150.

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