British Museum, Holborn

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british museum holborn

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LONDON | The British Museum was the first national museum in the world to be open to the public for free when it opened in 1759. Since then, its grown to become one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in the world, and is the 5th most visited museum in the world. The goal of the musueum is to advance understanding of the collection and cultures they represent.

The permanent collection of the British Museum is impressive, containing over 8 million works spanning the entirety of human history. The museum contains 94 galleries displayed across an area of 75,000 square metres, and is arranged by location and periods in history – The Iron Age, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Medieval Britain etc. The collection originally consisted of the private collection of physician and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane, but grew rapidly in conjunction with the expansion of the British Empire.

Controversy surrounds some of the items in the museum, stemming from the argument that relics should belong to the countries in which they are from, and the civilisations which grew from them. Examples include the Elgin Marbles (Greece), The Rosetta Stone (Egypt), and Ethiopian Tabots (Ethiopia).

The museum is surprisingly modern despite dealing in history. The glass roofed Queen Elizabeth II Great Court was opened in 2000, and provides a majestic, modern entrance when you first enter the musueum. The museum itself is a working conservation and research organisation, and the mixture of workers and visitors provides a certain vibrancy to the place.

In addition to the museum’s permanent collection, there are also special exhibitions, displays and events. Do note that some of these attract an entrance fee.

British Museum

Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG
United Kingdom

Telephone: 020 7323 8299
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.britishmuseum.org/

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