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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jane Austen museum to keep her ring

A 100,000-pound donation means that a ring that once adorned Jane Austen's finger will remain in the UK

From the BBC

A ring which once belonged to Jane Austen is likely to stay in the UK after a Hampshire museum received an anonymous donation of £100,000.
US singer Kelly Clarkson bought the turquoise and gold ring for £152,450 at auction last year, outbidding the Jane Austen's House Museum.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey put an export bar on it until 30 September.

The museum has now raised enough to "show a serious expression of interest to buy the ring".
It has until December to raise a further £49,000. The museum, in Chawton, Hampshire, is Jane Austen's former home.

Fundraiser Louise West was involved in the initial attempt to buy the ring.

She said: "We could see the writing on the wall.

"We knew it was going to go for much more than we could raise in that short space of time."
After the export bar was put on the ring, she said there had been a "grass roots" campaign from the supporters of the museum to help them raise the funds to match Clarkson's bid.

Staff at the museum have invited Clarkson, 2002 winner of the American Idol TV, to visit the house where Austen wrote and revised all of her six completed novels.

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