Magna Carta, key document in the history of democracy, comes to Malta in November

The Magna Carta will be displayed at the National Library of Malta on 28 and 29 November as it goes on a ‘world tour’

Now a key document in the history of democracy, the Magna Carta was first drafted in 1215
Now a key document in the history of democracy, the Magna Carta was first drafted in 1215

The British High Commission has announced that the the Magna Carta will be coming to Malta as part of a global tour in November 2015. The highly important document will be on display at the National Library of Malta on 28 and 29 November.

Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire has announced that Magna Carta will begin a global tour next week, in a partnership between Hereford Cathedral and the GREAT Britain Campaign. An original version of the document and the only surviving King’s Writ from Runnymede in 1215, will pass through seven countries, across four continents, travelling a total of approximately 65,000 miles.

Thousands of people across the world will benefit from a unique opportunity to see the document – an internationally recognised symbol of the rule of law – first hand, and reflect on how the principles of Magna Carta remain more relevant than ever in today’s world.

The Hereford Cathedral Magna Carta is one of only 18 believed to be in existence. As part of the tour it will leave the United Kingdom and fly to New York, followed by Luxembourg, China (including Hong Kong), Singapore, Malta and Portugal, where it will be displayed at a number of public venues. The programme is being run in partnership with Hereford Cathedral.

The Magna Carta has played a key role in the history of democracy around the world and still forms part of British law today. This year marks the 800th anniversary of the sealing of this important document. The tour will demonstrate its international resonance whilst also showcasing British influence across trade, law, international values and democracy.

Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire welcomed the tour and said: “The Magna Carta is a hugely important part of our history and stands as a beacon for our values today.  The tour is a fantastic way of enabling people from America to Europe to see it first hand, and to reflect on all that it stands for.”

Canon Chris Pullin, Chancellor of Hereford Cathedral said: “I am delighted that our copy of Magna Carta is embarking on this global tour, which will enable more people than ever from across the world a unique and exciting opportunity to see the document close up and learn about what it represents.”

At the same time, Baroness Anelay has announced a new £100,000 fund to enable other countries to benefit from the UK’s legal expertise, marking the International Day of Democracy.

At an event held at Gray’s Inn – at the heart of the UK’s world-leading legal scene – the Minister launched the ‘Magna Carta Partnerships’ fund. The pilot fund will facilitate sharing practical UK experience to help guide parliamentarians, judges and lawyers overseas along their own path to democracy.

The pilot fund is worth £100,000 and will distributed in small grants via a bidding process.