Original Magna Carta documents to go on display

Picture: GettyPicture: Getty
Picture: Getty
THE four original surviving copies of the Magna Carta have been brought together under the same roof for the first time.

The document - one of the first steps in the journey towards parliamentary democracy - will go on show at The British Library in central London as part of its 800th anniversary.

More than 40,000 people entered a public ballot for the chance to see them with 1,215 winning the opportunity to visit the display.

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The documents will be at the library for three days before they are taken to the House of Lords for another day, before two are returned to the library and the others go back to their homes at Lincoln and Salisbury Cathedrals.

In a joint statement, the library and the cathedrals said: “King John could surely never have anticipated the enduring global legacy of Magna Carta when he agreed to its terms in 1215.

“Eight hundred years later, the international interest and excitement about this unification event is testament to the extraordinary significance and symbolic power of these four manuscripts.

“We are thrilled to be staging this moment in history together, as partners, at the start of the 800th anniversary year. For each of our institutions, this unique event marks the beginning of our own celebrations in 2015.

“The British Library, Lincoln Cathedral and Salisbury Cathedral will all be staging exhibitions and events later this year to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of this iconic document.”