The famed Magna Carta received a welcome fit for a king during an unveiling of the exhibit Thursday at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS). The exhibit includes an original edition of the "Magna Carta," and the only known example of the King's Writ, a letter from King John to the Sheriff of Gloucester dated June 20, 1215 A.D. announcing the signing of the Magna Carta.

This literary piece of art is considered Great Britain's most valuable export to the world has never before traveled from its home at Hereford Cathedral in England, until now.

"We are very honored to be the museum with which Hereford Cathedral has elected to share this precious document with Houstonians and many others in Texas and the U.S.," said Joel Bartsch, President of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. "To be able to put on display and unite for the first time in the U.S. a copy of the Magna Carta and King's Writ, two documents that helped shape many other landmark documents including our U.S. Constitution, is a momentous occasion for HMNS."

The Magna Carta is a model upon which the United States Constitution was based and serves as the definitive document modeling basic civil liberties. In fact, in more than 100 decisions, the United States Supreme Court has pointed to the Magna Carta for providing understanding of due process, trial by jury, the importance of speedy and unbiased trail, and protection against excessive bail or fines or cruel and unusual punishment.

The documents will be on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science from Feb. 14 to Aug. 17, 2014
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