Jay-Z album cover debuts next to actual Magna Carta

The artwork for "Magna Carta Holy Grail" is currently on display at Britain's Salisbury Cathedral

By Kristin Deasy
Published July 15, 2013 9:14PM (EDT)
Jay-Z       (Associated Press)
Jay-Z (Associated Press)

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

Global Post Justin Timberlake may have brought back suits and ties, but Jay-Z's latest album has loftier ambitions.

Tourists who travel to Britain's Salisbury Cathedral this month can see the album art for the rapper's "Magna Carta Holy Grail," which debuted next to the 13th-century document that inspired it.

The famous lines "To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay, right or justice," reportedly inspired Jay-Z's album.

"Jay Z is creating a huge awareness of this historic document and its modern significance to a huge audience ... We hope to welcome many of his fans here this summer to see the artwork," June Osborne, the dean of Salisbury, told the Salisbury Journal.

The American rap sensation rolled up to the cathedral in Wiltshire on Sunday in an Aston Martin to see one of the four existing copies of the 1215 Magna Carta.

The lines that inspired Jay-Z are part of the Magna Carta's historic clause 39-40, which changed statecraft forever.

"They redefined the relationship between nations and their rulers,” Dean Philip Buckler of Lincoln Cathedral, home to another copy of the document, told the Financial Times. “The Magna Carta said: no one is unanswerable.”

"Jay-Z is a global icon. He comes out of a world that is very poor and very unfair. He speaks in particular to the young disempowered. He is part of the urban narrative who can spread the message about how the powerful of the world have to answer for the neglect and challenges of the poor," Osborne, the dean of Salisbury, said.

Jay-Z's album has already topped the charts in the UK, and the album art (seen below) will remain on display until the end of the month.

The four copies of the Magna Carta are to be re-united as part of the gala 800-year-anniversary event at London's British Library next year, according to the Salisbury Journal.

Kristin Deasy

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Album Art Globalpost Jay-z Magna Carta Holy Grail Salisbury Cathedral