You can't exactly call it a reunion — the four surviving Magna Cartas had never before been in the same place.

So the British Library called it a "unification event" Monday when the priceless documents seen by many as providing the foundation for democratic governance were put on display together for the first time.

The event marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, which established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law.

The original Magna Carta manuscripts were written and sealed in late June and early July 1215, and sent individually throughout the country.

Officials said the three-day unification will give some lucky members of the public as well as constitutional scholars and medieval manuscript experts a chance to compare the documents.