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Conservators restore Westminster Abbey's Cosmati Pavement in London. Centuries of dirt and grime will be painstakingly removed from this work of medieval craftsmanship. The intricate mosaic floor lies in front of the High Altar. Long hidden under rolls of carpet, it is made from small inlaid pieces of semiprecious stone, marble, glass and metal set in squares and circles, some of which are thought to have been recycled from the ruins of ancient Rome. The floor was commissioned by Henry III to be a centerpiece of the rebuilt 13th century abbey.

( Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images / May 6, 2008 )

Conservators restore Westminster Abbey's Cosmati Pavement in London. Centuries of dirt and grime will be painstakingly removed from this work of medieval craftsmanship. The intricate mosaic floor lies in front of the High Altar. Long hidden under rolls of carpet, it is made from small inlaid pieces of semiprecious stone, marble, glass and metal set in squares and circles, some of which are thought to have been recycled from the ruins of ancient Rome. The floor was commissioned by Henry III to be a centerpiece of the rebuilt 13th century abbey.

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