NEW YORK, NY.-
A rare 13th century Magna Carta will unexpectedly go on public display in New York on Wednesday after its planned return to Britain was delayed by the travel chaos caused by a volcanic ash cloud.
Considered one of the most important documents in the history of democracy, the 1217 Magna Carta is held by Oxford University's Bodleian Library and had been in New York for a special event.
The Magna Carta, which established the rights of the English people and curbed the power of the king, will now be on display at The Morgan Library and Museum
until May 30.
"This is a great and unexpected opportunity to put one of the Bodleian Library's original Magna Carta manuscripts on public display in New York for the first time," said Richard Ovenden, keeper of special collections for the Bodleian.
The U.S. Constitution includes ideas and phrases taken almost directly from the charter, which rebellious barons forced the repressive King John to sign in 1215.
The document was reissued regularly by or on behalf of succeeding monarchs, and only 17 of those dating from 1215 to 1297 are known to exist.
A 1297 Magna Carta was sold by Sotheby's auction house in New York in 2007 for $21.3 million.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols)