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March 1, 2012

Public exhibition for Magna Carta?

Public exhibition for Magna Carta

FAVERSHAM’S Magna Carta could be put on public display this summer for the first time since its £20 million value was revealed.

Organisers of the Faversham Festival want the rare charter to be exhibited during the nine-day music and arts event this summer.

It would be displayed in a cabinet in the Mayor’s Parlour, in Preston Street, from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, June 23, guarded by stewards from the Faversham Society.

Festival chairman Graham Gilbert, said: “The Magna Carta is an important part of our civic history.

“It would be a great opportunity to bring people from outside Faversham in, and we are very hopeful it will go ahead if we get the support of the town council.”

But at a meeting of Faversham Town Council on Monday, some councillors were concerned about the security of the valuable document.

Councillor Nigel Kay proposed buying a high security cabinet to showcase it. He said: “Because of the amount of interest in it there is a danger of something happening to it every time it goes out.

“When you think of the horrendous things people do for things of that value, haven’t we gone past the time where having one or two councillors standing by it is sufficient?”

Before its value was revealed in November, the Magna Carta was shown at the Mayor’s Parlour during the annual open house exhibition, where visitors could handle the document. Since then, security has been scaled up, with £200,000 spent on a high-tech burglar alarm.

Councillor Ted Wilcox responded: “We have a lot of charters which are valuable, but how silly are we going to get? It is great that we can show it to the town, we don’t need to go overboard and go and spend thousands of pounds protecting it.”

Councillor Cindy Davis agreed, and said the council had a special responsibility not only to protect the charter but to return it to the people of Faversham.

Officials plan to review the security arrangements before giving the plans the go-ahead.

Original Source: this is Kent –



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