Magna Carta displayed at Lisbon’s national archives

An original copy of the Magna Carta will be on display at Lisbon’s national archives from December 7 to 12.

The exhibition is part of a worldwide tour to celebrate the document’s 800th anniversary.

A letter written by King John in 1215 will also be on display, as well as the Treaty of Windsor, the diplomatic alliance signed between Portugal and England in 1386, and documents from the reign of Portugal’s King Afonso II.

A conference about the Magna Carta led by Canon Chris Pullin, Chancellor of the Hereford Cathedral, will accompany the tour on December 9.

Admission to both the exhibition and conference is free.

British Ambassador Kirsty Hayes said she is “very happy to see Portugal included in the Magna Carta tour”.

“It is one of the most important documents in the development of democracies and the rule of law in modern societies, and is still an inspiration to defend our collective freedom,” she added, saying she hopes Portuguese people will take the chance to see it.

Silvestre Lacerda, in charge of the archives, said it was an “honour” for Portugal to receive “one of the most significant documents for British people’s rights”.

The Magna Carta is an 800-year-old charter, handwritten in Latin, which limited the power of the monarch and established human rights for everyone in England.

It was signed by King John in 1215 in Runnymede, Surrey. Only four copies of the original 1215 Magna Carta remain in existence today, though it was updated through the years until the 17th century, and is believed to have influenced early American colonists and the formation of the American Constitution in 1787.

For further information please call +351 210 037 100 (The National Archive of Torre do Tombo) or +351 213 924 000 (British Embassy Lisbon).

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com