Rarely seen copy of Magna Carta coming to Houston

By By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI

HOUSTON (AP) — Nearly 800 years after the king of England tried to avert a civil war by issuing the Magna Carta, a rarely seen version of the document is coming to the U.S., which enshrined many of the charter's freedoms in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Beginning in February, the delicate, yellowed parchment will be displayed for six months at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

The chief executive of the British archive that holds the document says the trip might be the first time it has left Hereford, England, since it was issued in 1217, two years after the first version of the Magna Carta was distributed.

The charter established the notion that political power cannot be arbitrary and that the king must follow the law.

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