Hereford Mappa Mundi removed for conservation evaluation

A 700-year-old map of the world, the Hereford Mappa Mundi, has been removed from display in Hereford Cathedral for evaluation of its condition. The 52 in. (132cm) circular map shows a medieval view of the world with Jerusalem at the center and Paradise "surrounded by a wall and a ring of fire, roughly where Japan would be." (photos)

Hereford Cathedral librarian Dr Rosemary Firmin reports that conditions are carefully regulated for the map, but that "the map's condition was monitored very carefully so that if changes started to happen, the cathedral could take action 'before it's too late.'"