Ross Perot is putting his copy of the Magna Carta up for sale.Although it’s not one of the originals from 1215, this 1297 copy is still expected to bring $30 million when auctioned off in December.
Only two of the 17 copies are held outside England — one by Perot and the other, also a 1297 copy, by the people of Australia. This is a great opportunity for Canada to acknowledge this seminal event in its legal heritage by buying the Perot copy. It would take flair and a decent slice of some otherwise grey budget: is the government up to it? After all, it would only cost the price of one fighter jet. (Speaking of fighter jets and Australia, that country plans to buy 100 F-35’s at a cost of AUD16 billion — we don’t want to look like pikers all round, do we?)
But let’s say we feel we really need every last fighter aircraft we can scrounge; an alternative would be for each of us to cough up a loonie, a small price to pay for a slice of history like this. My buck’s already in an envelope, ready to mail in whenever the government kicks off it’s Carta for Canada Campaign.
If you’d like to paw over the goods before deciding to purchase, you’ll have to make do with the British Library’s online version of the original.