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The British Museum, London

Posted on March 2, 2012 | Art MuseumsNo Comment

London is a land of art, museums and architecture. The British Museum in this city is supposed to be one of the greatest museums across the world, and is an icon of culture and history in this part of the world. There is a permanent collection here  of the best works and is the largest in existence. It exhibits objects from all the continents and it shows the story of how human culture evolved from the beginning to the present day.

The British Museum was found in the year 1753 and is mainly based on the works and collections of Sir Hans Sloane who was a great scientist and physician. This museum was open to public in the year 1759 on 15th January, in the Montagu House in Bloomsbury. In the last 250years it has expanded  and it is mainly due to the contributions of the British colonial footprint. It has many branch institutions and the British Museum in the South Kensington is the first. This  is a museum of natural history. There are many objects in the collections here, and the most important of all of them is the Elgin Marbles which is from Parthenon. These are articles of great controversy.

The British Museum London
Till the year 1997, the British Library was based on the Round Reading room. It was transferred to a new site, and this was a very special museum  which had antiquities and also a national library in the same building. It is a departmental public body which is sponsored by the Department for Culture, Sport and media and there is no admission fee here. This is the same case in all the other museums in the United Kingdom. The director of the museum is Neil MacGregor since the year 2002.

The British Museum reading room
The British Museum was initially a universal museum. This is mainly a centre of antiquities and art objects. The foundations lie in the works of the great naturalist Sir Hans Sloane. He gathered many objects of interests and curiosities, and he gave it all up to King George II for the entire country. He gave it up for a sum of 20,000 pounds.

The British Museum
Sloane’s collection had 71,000 objects of different kinds and it was inclusive of around 40,000 printed books and many natural specimens from history which is also inclusive of 337 volumes of dried plants, drawings, and prints. The works of Albrecht Durer and the various antiquities from Rome, Greece, Egypt, Far East, and the Ancient near and the Americas are also found.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the collections of the British Museum were on the rise such that the building of the Museum was not as big as it looked. In the year 1895, around 69 houses were purchased by the trustees who were in and around the museum and the main intention behind this were to demolish them and then build around the eastern, northern, western and southern sides of the Museum. The construction entered its first stage in the northern wing in the beginning of 1906.

In the year 1918, due to some wartime bombing, there were many objects were taken out and taken to a Postal Tube Railway at Holborn. In the year 1920 a temporary laboratory was erected and today it is a department in the British Musuem.

The British Museum
The British Museum has welcomed so many visitors that today it has crossed over one million visitors. The British Museum today does not have any collections of natural history and all the manuscripts and books here are a part of the independent British Library. It has the best collections of artifacts which represent the cultures of the modern and ancient cultures of the world. The initial collection numbering 1753 has grown to more than thirteen million objects in the museum. There are 70 million at the National History Museum and around 150 million at the British Library.

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