MAGNA CARTA YEW

1996 to Present • United States Supreme Court Lawn, Washington, DC

Public Art Proposal

In 1215, the signing of the Magna Carta Libertatum provided the foundation for the development of constitutional law. The signers gathered at Runnymede England, adjacent to a large Yew, which today is estimated to be over 3000 years old. This Yew has become known as the Ankerwycke Yew or Magna Carta Yew and serves as a living witness to this historical event. I propose that a scion of this tree be planted on the United States Supreme Court lawn as a living link to an influential historic moment in constitutional law.


The concept was approved in 1996 by the Curator of the Bedgebury National Pinetum in England and in 2004 by the Architect of the Capital, Washington DC, pending approval by the Supreme Court of the United States. The National Botanical Garden would grow the Magna Carta scions until mature enough to be transplanted to the Supreme Court Lawn. In 2005, a US Senator forwarded a recommendation of support for the project to the Marshal of the Supreme Court, and on March 8, 2005, the offer was declined.


In the spring of 2009, the proposal was resubmitted to the Marshal of the United States Supreme Court.

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