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Realistic Valuation Comes To Our Magna Carta

johnboy 4 January 2006 3

The Australian brings news that the copy of Magna Carta on display in Parliament House isn’t as valuable as first thought.

The ink-on-vellum document displayed at Canberra’s Parliament House had been valued at $40 million in 2002.

But the Department of Parliamentary Services confirmed the document was now worth $15 million.

The so-called Inspeximus issue of the document was written in 1297 and is one of only four of the final versions of the historic charter surviving.

What value something you can’t/won’t sell? Surely the insured value is the only relevant one anyway?

Then again the our terror laws would have been unthinkable even in the dark ages (this one was written in 1297) so perhaps it is time to flog it off?

In any event what’s in the document is much more important than the dollar value of it.

For those who are interested the Wikipedia has a decent round-up of the document’s historical perspective. The US Government Archives have an English translation of our version. The critical passage being this one:

29] No Freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any otherwise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful Judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.

UPDATED: The SMH has coverage of the story (again neglecting the contents) here.

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3 Responses to Realistic Valuation Comes To Our Magna Carta
Mr Evil Mr Evil 1:04 pm 04 Jan 06

I wonder if the ACT Bill of Rights will ever be worth that much?

johnboy johnboy 9:21 am 04 Jan 06

yet another reson why accrual accounting is not suitable for governments which have massive duties beyond their fiduciary ones.

seepi seepi 9:16 am 04 Jan 06

Depreciation now affects govt dept’s annual budgets, so this will affect their allocation next year. this depreciation had huge effect on the Gallery and Archives etc when they brought it in.

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