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Magna Carta to be displayed in NYC

July 5, 2008 at 7:09 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, July 5 (UPI) -- One of the original copies of the Magna Carta, the charter signed by English King John that became a symbol of liberty, is traveling to New York.

The document is to be on display next year at the Fraunces Tavern Museum in Manhattan, the New York Daily News reports. It will be the centerpiece of an exhibit that will also include early copies of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

"If you ask a person on the street about the Magna Carta, they wouldn't know what it is -- and yet every freedom they have came from that document," said Richard Gregory, the executive director at Fraunces Tavern.

King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215 at Runnemede, a meadow near the Thames, to settle a revolt by the English barons. In the 17th century, the document became an important political symbol, showing that the king was not above the law.

One of the rights guaranteed by the document, and included in the U.S. Constitution, is habeas corpus.

Only four contemporary copies of the 1215 document survive. One was brought to New York for the 1939 World's Fair.

© 2008 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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