Magna Charta for the first time in Italy. The exceptional event in Vercelli

In Vercelli from March 23 to June 9, 2019, the exhibition 'La Magna Charta: Guala Bicchieri and His Legacy' is scheduled.

The Magna Charta Libertatum, the historic document signed in 1215 byEngland ’s King John Senzaterra, is at the center of an exhibition from March 23 to June 9, 2019, atSt. Andrew’s Abbey in Vercelli, for an event celebrating the Piedmontese complex’s 800th anniversary. The precious document was the first in history to set the limits of the king’s powers to guarantee a range of individual freedoms, and it comes to Italy for the first time in history. Only four original copies currently exist: two are kept at the British Library, one at Lincoln Cathedral and one at Salisbury Cathedral. The one coming to Vercelli is one of the earliest copies: it dates from 1217 and is coming from Hereford Cathedral.

Entitled The Magna Charta: Guala Bicchieri and His Legacy, the exhibition offers a display that aims to highlight its characteristics and importance, to raise awareness of its history and its connection with the city of Vercelli and Cardinal Guala Bicchieri. As a diffuse and thematic itinerary, the exhibition will extend into the city museums: the Francesco Borgogna Museum, the Leone Museum and the Museum of the Cathedral Treasury, and the Vercelli State Archives. Guided tours will be given to St. Andrew’s Abbey.

With this exhibition, the curators intend to take the public on a temporal journey through the Middle Ages and the following centuries to discover not only the history of the document and the people connected to it, but especially Cardinal Guala Bicchieri, guardian of England’s King Henry III, son of King John who signed the Magna Charta. The exhibition dedicates a short section to the image of the cardinal in which, in addition to recalling thirteenth-century depictions of Guala Bicchieri, two pictorial portraits from the modern age will be on display, on loan from the ASL-Hospital of Sant’Andrea in Vercelli, one of which will be restored for the occasion.

Other loan items on display in ARCA come from Palazzo Madama in Turin (the precious Guala Bicchieri hood and nine Limousin enamels) and Castello Sforzesco in Milan (the Eucharistic knife linked to the cardinal’s name). The remaining loans, equally important on a historical and documentary level, are from the city area and almost all unpublished: codices, papers and parchments from the Agnesiana Diocesan Library in Vercelli, as well as a parchment and one of the two codices known as “dei Biscioni” from the Civic Library of Vercelli.

The exhibition can be visited daily (except Mondays, which are closed), from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets: full price 5 euros, free for under 24, over 65, university students, conventioned. For all information you can visit the official website of the Abbey.

Magna Charta for the first time in Italy. The exceptional event in Vercelli
Magna Charta for the first time in Italy. The exceptional event in Vercelli

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