A “racist” British tapestry finished by Prince Charles portraying Native Americans has been slammed by campaigners who want it banned from public display.
The 267ft New World Tapestry depicting US colonisation between 1583 and 1642 has been accused of portraying indigenous people as “subhuman, warlike savages”.
The work took 20 years to make by 256 volunteers from Devon and Dorset and Its final stitch was sewn by Prince Charles in 2000.
It was put into storage by Bristol City Museum in 2008 because of its size.
But the tapestry, based on watercolour drawings by 16th Century artist John White, may be displayed to mark 400 years since the Mayflower left Plymouth.
It may feature in an upcoming anniversary and sections have also been made available online.
But the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) claim it is in a ‘racist tradition’.
Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the NCAI, said the portrayal of Native Americans was “inaccurate”.
She said: “It shamelessly perpetuates a centuries-long artistic tradition that seeks to portray Native people as subhuman, warlike savages.
“Unfortunately, too many Americans form their misinformed opinions of Native people based on such inaccurate, harmful depictions of who we supposedly were and are, as somehow ‘less than’ other Americans.
“It is time for this racist tradition in all of its forms – whether art tapestries or football helmet logos – to end, once and for all.”
Their complaints have been dismissed by designer Tom Mor who says their claims are “rubbish”.
He says Native Americans and colonisers were both depicted in the same cartoon style.
“It’s rubbish, it’s not racist, what’s racist about it?” he said. ”Mine is a cartoon, but it is a reality.
“It’s reality, we slaughtered the Native Americans, and they slaughtered us. It’s no use pretending about it or being shocked by it.”
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