This splendid Revolutionary wallpaper was discovered last year during renovations to the church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Daurade in the little town of Tarascon-sur-Ariège in south-west France. The church was briefly converted into a Temple of Reason in 1793.
The paper, which is white with painted red and blue stripes, was stuck directly to the walls and lay concealed behind the retable in the choir. One of the panels, revealed in June, is almost complete. The local historical society has managed to unearth a register from the local commune dated 2nd December 1793 which records the order for the church's re-dedication to "Reason, Liberty and Equality"; the local officials and National Guard turned out for the occasion and patriots were required to decorate their doors with oak branches and tricolour flags.
The find has attracted a lot of attention, and is likely to prove quite a conservation headache. A figure of 20,000€ has been mooted, more if the 18th-century paintings of the retable, the original subject of the restoration, are to be replaced whilst leaving the paper accessible.