British Museum

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he British Museum is a museum in London dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works,[3] is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence[3] and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present.[a]

The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. The museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759 in Montagu House in Bloomsbury, on the site of the current museum building. Its expansion over the following two and a half centuries was largely a result of an expanding British colonial footprint and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the British Museum (Natural History) in South Kensington in 1881. Some objects in the collection, most notably the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, are the objects of controversy and of calls for restitution to their countries of origin.

Until 1997, when the British Library (previously centred on the Round Reading Room) moved to a new site, the British Museum housed both a national museum of antiquities and a national library in the same building. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and as with all other national museums in the United Kingdom it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions.[4] Since 2002 the director of the museum has been Neil MacGregor.[5]

Blog News for Germany

  • The Sword of Tiberius

    The so-called Sword of Tiberius is on display in Room 70, the Wolfson Gallery of the Roman Empire. It perfectly embodies Roman visual language and political propaganda, tied up with Rome’s foreign wars and the imperial succession. The sword was discovered in 1848 near the river Rhine, outside the German city of Mainz, which in […]


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Added on 25/11/2014 16:47:34

British Museum Blog

  • Bettany Hughes on warrior women

    Boudicca was one furious woman. Roman sources tell us that to intimidate this native Briton and the Iceni tribe of whom she was leader, the order was given that Boudicca should be flogged and her young daughters raped. Originally Rome’s allies, the Iceni formed one of the client kingdoms that signed up to the Roman […]

  • Mummies and log houses of the dead: Scythian life and death

    My adventures with the Scythians began 20 years ago. Professor Yuri Chistov of Peter the Great’s Kunstkamera Museum in St Petersburg opened this wonderful world to me when he encouraged me to study the human skeletons from the incredible burial ground of Aymyrlyg. Located at the southernmost end of Siberia, near the border with Mongolia, […]

  • Maya heritage: 150 years of preservation

    Over the past year, the British Museum has been collaborating with Google Arts and Culture on a project to digitally preserve the Museum’s collection of casts and glass plate photographs of ancient Maya sites and monuments. This unparalleled repository of Maya writing and iconography is the legacy of Alfred Percival Maudslay, a Victorian ‘explorer’ whose […]

  • The British Museum Membercast: Currency, communism and credit

    The currency of communism will run until 18 March 2018. research and acquisition for the exhibition have been made possible with Art Fund support.   Book now for the Member’s exclusive lecture, The Museum under the microscope The British Museum Membercast is a monthly podcast made available to ‘all studious and curious persons’. Comedian, podcaster […]

  • The Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme: an update

    The Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme is a programme funded by the UK government, through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, and delivered through the British Museum. Its aim is to train archaeologists from across the whole of Iraq in cultural heritage management and practical fieldwork skills. The training consists of two […]

  • Under the microscope: the Oxus treasure and Scythian gold

    As part of the research supporting the BP exhibition Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia, I studied eight remarkable gold objects from the Oxus treasure. This treasure consists of about 180 gold and silver objects dated from c. 500–300 BC. Many objects in the Oxus treasure are of the so-called Achaemenid Court style (the ruling dynasty in […]

  • 10 things you might not have known about Rodin

    Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) is perhaps the most famous sculptor of the modern era. The popularity of The Kiss and the universality of The Thinker alone make him globally renowned. But here are a few facts about this radical sculptor who set a new direction for art with his work. 1. His most famous sculptures didn’t […]

  • Explore ancient Egypt in our Virtual Reality tour

    For several months, we have been working in collaboration with Oculus to develop an extraordinary new interactive tour that can be experienced directly within Facebook’s News Feed, using VR headsets and any web or mobile device. This tour is one of the first to test web-based VR within Facebook, and is built using the React […]

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