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Kelly Clarkson says she is happy Jane Austen's ring will stay in U.K.

Sept. 23, 2013 at 10:18 AM   |   Comments

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LONDON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A ring that once belonged to English literature icon Jane Austen will stay in the United Kingdom after donors matched a bid by U.S. pop star Kelly Clarkson.

Clarkson acquired the bauble for $230,000 at a Sotheby's auction in London last year, but British Culture Minister Ed Vaizey placed an export ban on it until Sept. 30 to allow someone in Austen's native Britain "to show a serious expression of interest to buy the ring."

The Jane Austen museum in the author's home in Chawton successfully raised the money needed to buy back the ring and it is now set to go on display at the house early next year.

Curator Mary Guyatt told the BBC museum staffers and officials were "stunned by the generosity" of the people who contributed to the fund.

"It's clear from the number of people who gave generously to the campaign just how admired Jane Austen remains to this day," Vaizey told the British broadcaster.

"The ring is a beautiful national treasure and I am happy to know that so many Jane Austen fans will get to see it at Jane Austen's House Museum," Clarkson said in a statement.

Austen wrote the classic 19th century romances "Pride & Prejudice," "Emma," "Mansfield Park," "Persuasion," "Northanger Abbey" and "Sense and Sensibility."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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