Kelly Clarkson Has to Give Back Jane Austen's Ring
Museum raises enough money to keep it in Britain
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 24, 2013 10:15 AM CDT
Kelly Clarkson performs on Day 3 of the 2013 CMA Music Festival at the LP Field on Saturday, June 8, 2013 in Nashville, Tenn.   (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – A Jane Austen museum said yesterday that it has raised enough money to buy the writer's ring back from pop singer Kelly Clarkson. Earlier this year, the British government placed a temporary export ban on the gold-and-turquoise ring Clarkson bought at auction in the hope that money could be found to keep it in Britain. Jane Austen's House Museum in southern England said it had raised $252,436—enough to do so. The funds were raised in just over a month, and included a $160,000 donation from an anonymous benefactor.

The Pride and Prejudice author died at age 41 in 1817, and left the ring to her sister, Cassandra. It had been in the family until the auction last year. The British government has the power to temporarily halt the export of works judged to be national treasures. Clarkson—an Austen fan who owns a first edition of the author's novel Persuasion—has agreed to sell the ring to the museum. "The ring is 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," she said.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
RAD45
Sep 24, 2013 6:33 PM CDT
The moral of this story is be veerryyy careful what you buy in Europe (England, France, Spain, whatever) because some citizen and their politicians could pass a law declaring whatever you bought a "National Treasure" -- which begs the question why Jane Austen's family didn't give/sell the ring to the Austen House Museum in the first place... being it is a National Treasure and has been floating around for more than 200-years! This will certainly put a damper on international auctions.
DougMasters
Sep 24, 2013 11:50 AM CDT
Well she bought it, said if they raised the money they could keep it, they did, she honored it.... sounds like a deal.
carbonated_turtle
Sep 24, 2013 10:31 AM CDT
"The ring is 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," But I would've gladly kept it to myself had they not come up with enough money to keep me from bringing it back to America. How genuine of you, Kelly.