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

  • The British Museum Membercast: A year in the life of scientific research at the Museum

    The British Museum Membercast is a monthly podcast made available to ‘all studious and curious persons’. Comedian, podcaster and super-fan Iszi Lawrence (The Z List Dead List) presents snippets from exclusive Members’ lectures at the Museum, artfully woven together with interviews and her own musings. Please share your comments and feedback about the podcast! You […]

  • Music of the world: a symphony of cultures

    Bach’s Mass in B Minor, chants in praise of Vishnu in south India and the magnificent vocals and drums of qawwali music breaking like waves at a shrine in Pakistan. All these sounds are in praise of a deity – and show how music, all over the world, is used to elevate us from earthly […]

  • A history of world music in 15 instruments

    This April, the Museum is hosting its first major music festival. The galleries will be filled with the sound of music from across the world, from classical traditional Indian music and Chinese kunqu opera to 20th-century European avant-garde works by composers such as Stockhausen, Berio and Ligeti. With these unique performances taking place surrounded by […]

  • The world’s oldest bridge is being preserved in Iraq

    The bridge at Tello was built in the third millennium BC, making it the oldest bridge still in existence. This remarkable survival will be preserved by a team of British Museum archaeologists and Iraqi heritage professionals who are being trained to protect ancient sites that have suffered damage at the hands of Daesh (or the […]

  • Trade and contraband in ancient Assyria

    Whenever I am asked what I do for a living, I have to confess: I read people’s private papers. In my defence, I have to say that any secrecy on these papers was lifted a few thousand years ago. These are not even made of paper but were shaped out of clay 4,000 years ago […]

  • Charmed lives in Greece

    The Museum’s new exhibition in Room 5 brings together the lives and works of three artists – the painters Niko Ghika and John Craxton, and the writer Patrick (‘Paddy’) Leigh Fermor. But who were these men, and why is there an exhibition devoted to them at the British Museum? Ghika Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika (1906–1994), was the son […]

  • The Round Reading Room at the British Museum

    Very soon after the ‘new’ Museum building was completed in the middle of the 19th century, replacing Montagu House, the need for yet more space became apparent. The inner quadrangle of the new Museum had been intended as a garden space for promenading but it was quickly evident that the area didn’t get enough light […]

  • The British Museum Membercast: Cracking the Egyptian code

    The British Museum Membercast is a monthly podcast made available to ‘all studious and curious persons’. Comedian, podcaster and super-fan Iszi Lawrence (The Z List Dead List) presents snippets from exclusive Members’ lectures at the Museum, artfully woven together with interviews and her own musings. Please share your comments and feedback about the podcast! You […]

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