Carlyle’s Rubenstein Pays $21M For Magna Carta Copy

Dec 19 2007 | 3:28pm ET

A modern-day buyout baron has bought a 710-year-old copy of the Magna Carta, one of the most important documents in the history of democracy.

David Rubenstein's Magna Carta: courtesy Sotheby'sMagna Carta: courtesy Sotheby'sCarlyle Group founder David Rubenstein won the auction for the priceless artifact for $21.3 million, below the $30 million the document had been expected to garner. The Perot Foundation, which has owned the copy for more than 20 years, auctioned it at Sotheby’s in New York yesterday.

Magna Carta, which Sotheby’s vice chairman David Redden called “the most important document in the world, the birth certificate of freedom,” was forced upon England’s King John by his barons in 1215, which strictly limited the monarch’s power and is credited with giving birth to both constitutional democracy and the common law.

Rubenstein’s copy, which dates not from 1215 but 1297, had been housed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., from 1988 until earlier this year. Rubenstein said he plans to reinstall the Magna Carta at the National Archives. It is one of only 17 extant “original” copies of the document.

“I thought it was very important that the Magna Carta stay in the U.S.,” Rubenstein told the New York Post. “I feared it would escape and go to another country.”


In Depth

GSAM's Papagiannis: Liquid Alternatives For The Long Run

Apr 21 2017 | 8:44pm ET

Interest in liquid alternatives cooled a bit last year amid a broad shift in investor...

Lifestyle

Aston Martin Returns To Debt Market As DB11 Drives Turnaround

Mar 31 2017 | 5:21pm ET

James Bond’s preferred carmaker is returning to the public debt markets for the...

Guest Contributor

Debunking Conventional Investment Wisdom (Part II)

Apr 17 2017 | 5:56pm ET

The alternative investment industry is currently replete with buzzwords around data...

 

From the current issue of