Magna Carta moved from Lincoln Castle vault over rising humidity

Magna Carta
Image caption The new multi-million pound vault was built last year to display Magna Carta in a protective environment

A copy of Magna Carta has been moved from display at Lincoln Castle because humidity levels have risen in its new multi-million pound vault.

Lincoln holds one of four remaining copies of the charter, which was signed by King John at Runnymede in 1215.

The new state-of-the-art vault was built last year to house it as part of a £22m renovation of the castle.

But the County Council said it had to be moved to ensure the document was not damaged while the problem was fixed.

Along with the Charter of the Forest, the document has been taken to an undisclosed location.

William Brown, county heritage manager for Lincolnshire County Council, said: "We're working quickly to restore the vault to the optimum temperature for the documents, so that they can be returned.

"We take the documents off from time-to-time, they have to be rested occasionally anyway, and that's to do with the light levels, so we're actually taking our responsibilities as a county council for these documents extremely seriously."

What is Magna Carta?

Magna Carta outlined basic rights with the principle that no one was above the law, including the king.

It charted the right to a fair trial, and limits on taxation without representation.

It inspired a number of other documents, including the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Only three clauses are still valid: the one guaranteeing the liberties of the English Church; the clause confirming the privileges of the City of London and other towns; and the clause that states that no free man shall be imprisoned without the lawful judgement of his equals.

The British Library has two copies of the 1215 Magna Carta.

Source: The British Library

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