THE Magna Carta is back on show today after the display was attacked by a man with a hammer.

The 803-year-old document, which has spent more than three months in storage, was removed from display after the incident on October 25, 2018.

A 45-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted theft, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage. He is currently on bail.

Emily Naish, the Cathedral archivist and curator of the Magna Carta exhibition, said: “Something like this is an archivist’s nightmare and it was a great relief to know that the Charter had escaped unscathed.

"Luckily no glass dust or shards had penetrated the seal on the inner case. I am thankful that both cases did the job they were designed to do, and the document emerged unharmed.”

Glass powder and small shards of glass had to be carefully removed with a special museum standard vacuum cleaner.

The original case was made by specialist showcase makers, Click Netherfield, and installed in the Magna Carta exhibition in the Cathedral’s medieval Chapter House in 2015 as part of Magna Carta 800, the celebrations marking the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the 1215 Magna Carta in Runnymede.

The new case contains hidden safety features which means that it is has the highest security rating of any case in the UK.

During the three months that Magna Carta was not on a paper facsimile was in its place.

Emily added: “Of course, a facsimile, however good, is never a complete substitute for visitors wanting the thrill of seeing the real Magna Carta in person so it is fantastic that we are now able to have Magna Carta back on display in a safe and secure environment.”

Magna Carta 1215 is the best surviving copy of one of Britain's most influential legal documents, and is on display in Salisbury Cathedral's 13th Chapter House.

The damaged glass from the original case will be now exhibited alongside Magna Carta in the exhibition.