Medieval manuscripts blog

15 March 2015

Magna Carta Exhibition Well and Truly Open


We have been overwhelmed by the response to the British Library's new exhibition, Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy, sponsored by the global law firm Linklaters, which opened to the public on Friday. The first reviews have been extremely positive ('rich and authoritative' according to The Daily Telegraph, 'gripping' according to The Guardian), and there have been long queues of visitors this weekend. The exhibition, which is the largest and most significant ever devoted to Magna Carta, one of the most famous documents in the world, has been four years in the making. In the coming months we are going to feature blogposts devoted to the themes of the exhibition and to the individual exhibits -- you may be aware that we have everything on display from original manuscripts of the Declaration of Independence and US Bill of Rights (both of which are visiting the UK for the very first time) to two of King John's teeth! You can also find out more about Magna Carta on our dedicated website and in the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition. Here, however, we're going to show you pictures of the official opening on Thursday night, when HRH The Prince of Wales came to the British Library.


HRH The Prince of Wales arriving at the British Library, flanked by Baroness Blackstone, the Chairman, and Roly Keating, the Chief Executive


The Prince of Wales being shown the genealogy of King John by Julian Harrison, curator of the Magna Carta exhibition


The Prince of Wales being shown the Articles of the Barons by Julian Harrison


The Prince of Wales being shown a replica of the tomb of King John by Claire Breay, curator of the exhibition


The Prince of Wales and Claire Breay examining Thomas Jefferson's manuscript of the Declaration of Independence, loaned to the exhibition by New York Public Library


The Prince of Wales being shown the Treaty of Waitangi (on loan from The National Archives) by Alexander Lock, researcher for the exhibition


Looking at British government papers proposing to give the USA a copy of Magna Carta in 1941, on loan from The National Archives


The Prince of Wales, Claire Breay and Roly Keating with one of the British Library's manuscripts of the 1215 Magna Carta


The reception to mark the opening of the British Library's Magna Carta exhibition


The Prince of Wales being presented to Tony Marx, President of New York Public Library (lender to the exhibition)


The Prince of Wales being presented to Clive Izard and Alex Kavanagh from the Library's Exhibitions team


Baroness Blackstone gives a specially-bound copy of the exhibition catalogue to the Prince of Wales


The Prince of Wales declares the exhibition open


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