The Houses of Parliament have gifted a piece of unique artwork celebrating a historic moment in British history to Brunel University London.
The banner illustrating the 1628 Petition of Right was one of 18 created by nine leading artists and hung for a year in Westminster Hall as part of its national ‘Parliament in the Making’ programme.
The Petition of Right is one of England’s most famous and influential documents. It detailed restrictions on non-parliamentary taxation, imprisonments without trial and the forced billeting of soldiers.
As well as being closely linked to Brunel’s academic studies of politics, history and law, the banner also ties in with the university’s Magna Carta Institute and its successful Magna Carta Today exhibition, celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Great Charter at Runnymede last year. The exhibition, a monument to Magna Carta’s continuing relevance to modern day liberal democracies, attracted more than 5,000 visitors and was central to national celebrations.
The Director of the Magna Carta Institute and Professor of Political Science Justin Fisher said: “We’re thrilled to have been given such a unique and important piece of work.
“The Petition of Right remains a vital element of the UK’s democratic heritage. It’s central to our understanding of how the original vision of Magna Carta remained relevant many hundreds of years after it was first sealed.”
The banner by Maria Amidu, which was seen by an estimated 750,000 people in its old home, is currently displayed in Brunel’s Eastern Gateway Building. It was unveiled by former chief legal advisor Dominic Grieve QC during his recent lecture at Brunel University London, in which he asked whether there is any value in a Bill of Rights.
This year, Brunel celebrates its 50th anniversary. More information about the events the university has planned to celebrate its 50th can be found at www.brunel.ac.uk/fifty.