Queen unveils 'Magna Carta' cornerstone for Canada museum

4th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II hailed the special contribution to Canada's culture made by the country's native peoples, attending a performance of indigenous dance and visiting the site of a future museum for human rights.

The queen, who is Canada's titular head of state, on Saturday unveiled the cornerstone of the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which she brought with here from the fields of Runnymede near Windsor Castle, where the original Magna Carta was signed in 1215.

"The symbolism of the Magna Carta is now joined to the historical importance of a site where aboriginal peoples gathered for thousands of years to exchange views and resolve conflicts," the queen said at a ceremony held at the future Two Fork museum site.

The human rights museum is scheduled to open in 2012.

England's historic "great charter" over the centuries guaranteed the liberties of the King's free subjects and restricted his absolute power, thereafter becoming the template for constitutions and statutes of many other countries.

Queen Elizabeth, who is accompanied on her visit by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, last week was treated to Canada Day celebrations that included live music and dance, a ceremonial changing of the guard and a flyover by a formation of jets.

She arrived in Toronto late Saturday, and on Sunday, attended church services at the city's Cathedral of Saint James in Toronto, where hundreds of onlookers lined the street for a glimpse of the British monarch.

During her 22nd official tour of the country, the 84-year-old monarch also is scheduled to visit to Research in Motion, the maker of the popular BlackBerry device.

© 2010 AFP

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