March 2, 2015
Best-preserved Magna Carta goes on show at Salisbury Cathedral
The BBC, 27th February 2015
A new exhibition celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta has been launched at Salisbury Cathedral.
The cathedral is home to the “finest preserved” of the four original copies of the historic charter.
Sealed by King John at Runnymede in 1215, it is seen as the foundation of constitutional law in England.
The new “immersive and interactive” exhibition, funded by a £415,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will be opened to the public from Saturday.
Outlining basic rights with the principle that no-one was above the law, including the king, the Magna Carta charted the right to a fair trial and limits on taxation without representation.
As part of the new exhibit, the cathedral’s original 1215 document has been re-housed in the 13th-century Chapter House in a display “befitting its international significance”.
The Chapter House and medieval cloisters, also play host to an interactive exhibition charting the story of the historic charter.
The Very Reverend June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury, said “despite its age” it has “clearly gained in relevance for a modern audience”.
“There are only four original Magna Cartas left in the world and we have the most beautiful one here in Salisbury.
“I know that the many visitors who will come to Salisbury Cathedral to experience this exhibition will be excited and engaged by what they find,” she said.
“I hope they will go away inspired by Magna Carta’s enduring values of fairness, universal rights and justice.”