British Museum Buys Back Jane Austen’s Ring from Kelly Clarkson
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Kelly Clarkson barely had time to catch her breath after purchasing a ring that once belonged to 19th century British novelist Jane Austen. A British museum has raised enough funds to buy the ring back from Clarkson, ensuring that the jewelry stays in England.
The Jane Austen’s House Museum, located in southern England, began an appeal to buy the ring after losing out to Clarkson last year at a Sotheby’s auction, CNN reports. Thanks to an anonymous donor who pledged £100,000, the fundraising was a success, which will put the ring in the museum’s display next year.
Clarkson, who considers herself a major fan of the novelist who wrote Pride and Prejudice, Emma and more, originally purchased the ring after the House Museum couldn’t meet the sale price of £152,450, which equates to $231,227. The ring is one of three pieces of jewelry known to still exist that belonged to Austen.
But last month, UK culture minister Ed Vaizey ensured Clarkson wouldn’t be able to take the ring outside the country, placing a temporary export hold on the jewelry due to its prestige as part of British history, calling its perceived departure “a misfortune.”
The singer isn’t scorned by the news, though. In a statement, Clarkson called the gold and turquoise ring “a beautiful national treasure and I am happy to know that so many Jane Austen fans will get to see it at Jane Austen’s House Museum.”
Kevin Rutherford, Radio.com