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Magna Carta Displayed In San Francisco

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Magna Carta

Bound copy of the Magna Carta from 1556 once owned by Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – One of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy is now on display in San Francisco, as the Magna Carta can be viewed at the Legion of Honor.

James Ganz, curator for the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, said the historic document is available for viewing in the European Galleries at the Legion of Honor for the next month.

“There really are very few copies of the Magna Carta from the 13th century,” said Ganz. “They are almost all in English institutions and this one has never been shown publicly in the United States.”

KCBS’ Larry Chiaroni Reports:

Ganz said this particular copy is on loan from the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England, and the historical impact of the manuscript cannot be disregarded.

“The document is important because it establishes that there is a power that’s stronger and more important than the king and that is the law,” he said.

This almost 800-year-old copy of the Magna Carta, one of four surviving manuscripts from the revised 1217 issue, is written in Latin.

It will be on display with an English translation at the Legion of Honor through June 5.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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