The Irish-Anglo Treaty of 1921 that formally ended the War of Independence, caused the emergence of a new state, marked the first rupture in the United Kingdom, and ignited a bitter and discordant civil war that haunted Irish politics for generations is available for the general public to see.
For the first time since 1921, both the treaty copies are displayed in London, the city they were created and signed in at 2 am on 6 December 1921. Both documents have been kept in archives for almost a century, hidden from the public eye until now.
The very intense period in the political life of the two nations has been revived by the exhibition of the two treaties and a lot of other papers, photos, and short films.
"The materials have never been shown publicly before, and I suppose, from our perspective, opening in London is very symbolic, in that 100 years ago, five men walked into Downing Street to commence negotiations on an Anglo Irish treaty."
"We wanted to bring those records back to London - records that were created by the men and women who made up the negotiating team, as well as the Secretariat - we wanted to bring those records back to London for the first time and put them on display in the city in which many of them were created," Ms. Orlaith McBride, the Director of the Irish National Archives said talking to RTE correspondent, Sean Whelan in London.
The exhibition "The Treaty 1921: Documents from the Archives" is at the British Academy, London, until 23 October, as part of the programs arranged by the Embassy of Ireland in London to commemorate the centenary of the Irish-Anglo Treaty.
Portraits of the British and Irish negotiators by John Lavery are also part of the exhibition.