(CBS SF/AP) – Kelly Clarkson’s attempt to buy a ring that once belonged Jane Austen has been thwarted by an Austen museum in the U.K.
Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, England, said Monday that it has raised enough money to buy the writer’s ring back from pop star.
Earlier this year, the British government placed a temporary export ban on the gold-and-turquoise ring Clarkson bought at auction in the hope that money could be found to keep it in Britain.
The museum said it had raised 157,740 pounds ($252,436) — enough to keep the ring in Britain. The funds were raised in just over a month, and included a 100,000 pound donation from an anonymous benefactor.
The “Pride and Prejudice,” author died at age 41 in 1817, and left the ring to her sister Cassandra. It had been in the family until the auction last year.
The British government has the power to temporarily halt the export of works judged to be national treasures.
“We have been stunned by the generosity and light-footedness of all those who have supported our campaign to meet the costs of acquiring Jane Austen’s ring for our permanent collection,” said Mary Guyatt, curator of Jane Austen’s House Museum, according to The Guardian. “Visitors come from all around the world to see the house where she once lived, and we will now take great pleasure in displaying this pretty ring for their appreciation.”
Clarkson — an Austen fan who owns a first edition of the author’s novel “Persuasion” — has agreed to sell the ring to the museum.
“The ring is a beautiful national treasure and I am happy to know that so many Jane Austen fans will get to see it at Jane Austen’s House Museum,” she said.
Don’t miss Kelly Clarkson, scheduled to perform along with Maroon 5 on the Honda Civic Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on Wednesday, October 2.
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