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1297 Magna Carta goes on display

One of the finest surviving 13th century copies of the Magna Carta has gone on display.

The City of London Corporation's 1297 Magna Carta has been unveiled at the Guildhall Art Gallery in the capital.

The gallery's Roman Amphitheatre was chosen to house the charter copy by conservators for its ambient low light conditions.

The document, on display until 5pm on Sunday, includes Edward I's seal and the original writ directed to the Sheriffs of London, ordering that the Charter be promulgated within the City.

The 1297 Charter was confirmed in Parliament, which gave the document statutory force.

John Scott, chairman of the City of London's Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said: "The City of London's Magna Carta is a beautiful document which, over the centuries, has been preserved carefully by our ancestors and, more recently, by a team of conservators at one of our flagship services, London Metropolitan Archives.

"Magna Carta has now been moved permanently to the Guildhall which, in a sense, is its spiritual home and I am delighted that my colleagues at Guildhall Library will bring it over to the art gallery to enable visitors to see it free of charge. It is an extremely rare opportunity and I am sure that it will prove very popular during Open House London weekend."

The City of London played an active role in the events that led to Magna Carta's creation in 1215 and the Mayor (later known as the Lord Mayor) was appointed, along with the barons, to see that its provisions were carried out.

London was also the only city named specifically in the document, in the clause that stated that "the City of London shall have all its ancient liberties by land as well as by water".

Over the years, Magna Carta developed great significance for Americans and is thought to have influenced the framers of the Declaration of Independence.


From Belfast Telegraph