UPDATED: Singer Kelly Clarkson Temporarily Blocked From Owning Jane Austen's Ring
images courtesy The Telegraph and Amazon.
UPDATE: The Huffington Post reports that the Jane Austen House—a museum based in the author's former home—has received an anonymous donation of £100,000 to help repurchase Austen's ring from singer Kelly Clarkson. That's just £50,000 shy of the asking price, and the museum fundraiser Louise West is cautiously optimistic. "We are two-thirds of the way there in 48 hours, which is tremendous," she said, "but we're not there yet."
The Jane Austen House has until December to raise the remaining funds. I don't want to jinx them, but it looks to me like Clarkson will have to ogle that ring in a museum just like everyone else. Indiana Jones would be proud.
Former "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson was temporarily prevented from taking home a ring once owned by Jane Austen, which she'd purchased at an auction alongside a rare edition of Persuasion. According to CBC News, British Culture Minister Ed Vaizey barred the ring from leaving the country until September 30th, with the hopes someone else will purchase the item from Clarkson. She's agreed to sell it too, provided they match the £150,000 she paid for it.
Why all this fuss over a ring? Apparently, the British government places these kinds of "exports" on items deemed national treasures all the time. Austen did not lead an extravegent life and died young, so any memorabilia previously owned by the author is an extremely rare find. Thus the desire to sell the ring to someone local.
My question is: why did the damn thing end up on a Sotheby's auction block in the first place? I find myself growling like Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade—"It belongs in a museum!" I mean, let's assume some jolly olde Englishman purchases the ring from this unworthy pop singer. Then what? Will it just sit in his private collection, where no one will ever see it or enjoy it? See my movie reference above.
What do you think? Is this silly?
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