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]

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

British Museum Blog

  • Interning at the Hirayama Studio

    I am an MA student in conservation of cultural properties at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris. I am fascinated by East Asian painting and Japanese conservation techniques, so I could not believe my luck when I got accepted as an intern at the British Museum’s Hirayama Studio. On my first day here in September 2016, […]

  • Conserving Dürer’s Triumphal Arch: Getting the big picture

    Once we had finished washing all of the sheets (which you can read about in the previous blog) we laid them out to get an impression of what the print looked like as a whole. A few sheets were then singled out for more cleaning due to ingrained dirt. Having established a tradition of experimenting […]

  • The Frome Hoard voted Top Treasure

    When working with the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), the concept of a ‘forward job plan’ is somewhat laughable – your work patterns are largely dictated by finds made by detectorists. Some discoveries can completely change your career as the Frome Hoard did for me when it was found by Dave Crisp in April 2010. Dave had […]

  • Stories for equality

    In the UK almost 50 years ago – on 27 July 1967 – the Sexual Offences Act received royal assent. This important legislation partially decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales and represents an important milestone in the campaign for equality.  This anniversary is being marked by many museums, galleries, libraries and archives in the UK […]

  • Hokusai: old master

    Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) died in Edo (modern Tokyo) on the 18th day of the fourth month, according to the pre-modern lunar calendar. This was equivalent to 10 May 1849 in London. He was 90 years old by traditional reckoning. In Japan at the time, people were considered to be one at birth and their age […]

  • Three printmaking techniques

    Printmaking in various forms has been popular in western art since the late 15th century. By making various impressions, artists were able to produce multiple versions of one work. From the 1960s onwards, printmaking transformed the American art scene. Artists from Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to Jim Dine, Kara Walker and Ed Ruscha […]

  • South Asia season 2017

    As part of the season, British Museum objects will travel across the UK, including: a spotlight tour of an important sculpture of the elephant-headed god Ganesha a spotlight loan to UK venues themed on the music of courtly India an Object Journeys display at Manchester Museum the continuing development of the South Asia partnership gallery […]

  • 20 years of Treasure

    On 24 September 1997 the common law of treasure trove, in place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for more than 500 years, was replaced by the Treasure Act 1996. This marked a radical change in the fortune of objects found in these countries, allowing thousands of important finds to be acquired by public collections for […]

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