Lincoln Cathedral’s 1215 Magna Carta will form the centrepiece of a unique exhibition in Washington DC, and the Dean of Lincoln will be delivering a special opening speech.
The exhibition, titled Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor, opens on Thursday, November 6 at the Library of Congress and runs until January 19.
It tells the story of Magna Carta from a uniquely American point-of-view, and will focus on the impact that it had on the Founding Fathers and founding documents, as well as its influence on the constitutional law of the United States.
The opening ceremony will be attended by HRH The Princess Royal, and will see guests including many US dignitaries, the Marquess of Lothian and representatives from the cathedral and City of Lincoln.
The exhibition has been some time in the making and has been organised in partnership with the Library of Congress and Lincoln Cathedral.
This is not the first time that Lincoln Cathedral’s well-travelled Magna Carta has been to the States, or the Library of Congress.
During the Second World War the then Marquess of Lothian, as British Ambassador, invited the Library of Congress to act as custodian of Lincoln Cathedral’s Magna Carta, keeping it safe from harm.
It was here that leaders in both Great Britain and the United States upheld Magna Carta as a poignant symbol of liberalism during wartime – themes which are ever present today.
Lincoln Cathedral will be celebrating the 800th Anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta with a varied programme of events.
Plans include the reunification of the four remaining 1215 Magna Carta at the British Library, a series of lectures and a black-tie dinner in the nave before the Magna Carta is officially installed in its new home at Lincoln Castle.
The Very Reverend Philip Buckler, Dean of Lincoln, said: “We are very pleased to have worked with the Library of Congress in bringing this exhibition to life.
“Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor marks the start of a very exciting year for us here at Lincoln Cathedral and we are pleased to share this with our friends locally, nationally and internationally; and to celebrate a document which is every bit as relevant today, as it was 800 years ago.”
Lincolnshire County Council, the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and Visit Lincoln are taking the opportunity to showcase the events taking place in and around Lincoln to celebrate the document’s 800th anniversary in 2015.
They have organised a special event on November 12 to promote all the county has to offer visitors – along with its many and varied investment opportunities.
Cllr Colin Davie, executive member for economic development, said: “Magna Carta has a phenomenal reputation in the US, where it stands as an unmatched symbol of freedom against oppression.
“And, hopefully, we’ll be able to tap in to this enthusiasm and tempt some of our transatlantic cousins to come and visit the document in its new home at Lincoln Castle next year.
“But we also want to grasp this opportunity to highlight the wealth of investment opportunities Greater Lincolnshire has to offer.