An investment executive who paid more than $20 million for an original, handwritten copy of the Magna Carta presented the ancient paper last week to the media and plans to loan it to the National Archives.
The National Archives considers the manuscript “a milestone in constitutional thought” from the 13th century, and plans to place it on public display later this month.
The original Magna Carta was signed in 1215. Rubenstein’s is one of four remaining copies of the document commissioned by the King of England in 1297 to establish basic human rights as part of English law.
A scholar’s contemporary translation of the Latin describes the right of the country’s people “to be free and to have all its rights fully and its liberties entirely,” as among the 37 principles described in the Magna Carta.
The fragile paper is displayed in a sealed viewing box to protect it from damage.
The Magna Carta will be on public display starting March 12 in the West Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building.
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