Magna Carta Back on Display in London

The 1297 Carta Magna being installed at the City of London Heritage Gallery Photo: Ben Stansall via AFP.

The new City of London Heritage Gallery has greeted its first visitors with a dazzling display of the finest surviving version of the 1297 Magna Carta. This important exhibit, which commemorates the 800th anniversary of the proclamation of the original 1215 Magna Carta, features what could be described as the world’s first Post-it note: A superimposed memorandum reads “Make it happen,” reports Art Daily.

Located at Guildhall Art Gallery, this permanent, purpose-built exhibition space will showcase a rotating selection of rare documents from the extensive archives of the City of London Corporation, providing new insights into over 1,000 years of Britain’s political history.

Other exhibits in the inaugural display, which opened to the public last Friday, include the medieval Cartae Antiquae, gathering laws enacted from 1327 to 1425. These transcripts include statutes from the reign of the infamous Richard III, whose remains were discovered under a Leicester council car park in 2012. They will be reburied in Leicester Cathedral in March 2015 (see “Reinterment Ceremony of King Richard III Announced“).

The gallery will not only feature political items but also cultural curiosities, including Shakespeare’s purchase deed for a house in Blackfriars (1613) which carries the playwright’s signature. It’s one of only six known documents bearing his mark in the world.

The gallery will also look at the contribution made by London’s ethnic communities, such as the Irish dockworkers and the African-Caribbean immigrants that arrived in the late 1940s.

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