Over $150,000 has been donated to a British museum to prevent Kelly Clarkson from removing a ring once owned by Jane Austen from the country.
Clarkson initially purchased the Jane Austen ring at an auction last year. Previously owned by the now famous, classic writer, the ring contains an oval-shaped turquoise gem set in gold. Clarkson purchased it for over $230,000 during an auction that members of the Jane Austen museum failed to attend.
"We always did want to acquire the ring for the museum but last year we felt like we couldn't raise enough money in time to go to the auction," Louise West, a fundraiser at the Jane Austen Museum, told Reuters.
The British government placed a temporary embargo on the ring, hoping that the museum could raise enough funds to keep the Austen relic within the country where the author was born. On Monday, the museum received a donation of over $150,000 by an unknown benefactor for the purpose of purchasing the ring. The donation has put the museum much closer to its goal.
"We are two-thirds of the way there in 48 hours, which is tremendous, but we're not there yet," West told the Associated Press. The museum has until December to raise the funds. For her part, Clarkson has agreed to let the ring go if a buy comes forward.
While West admitted that she was sorry about disappointing Clarkson, an admitted Jane Austen fan, she noted "the ring should stay in this country, because there is so little of Austen's personal effects left."
The museum has extended an invitation for Clarkson to visit the museum the next time she is in the country. Clarkson's interest in the author more that 200 years after "Pride and Prejudice" was first published, is a blessing.
"It is very good for Jane Austen PR that a young, famous American pop star expresses a love for her," West said.