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

  • Exhibitions: fun for all the family!

    Almost a third of visitors to the British Museum are families. That’s a huge number of people who might want to explore the collection in a family-friendly way. In case you didn’t already know, there are plenty of free activities and events for family groups with under 16s, including explorer backpacks, digital workshops, craft activities […]

  • The Lion Man: an Ice Age masterpiece

    The Lion Man is a masterpiece. Sculpted with great originality, virtuosity and technical skill from mammoth ivory, this 40,000-year-old image is 31 centimetres tall. It has the head of a cave lion with a partly human body. He stands upright, perhaps on tiptoes, legs apart and arms to the sides of a slender, cat-like body […]

  • Living with gods: highlight objects

    For thousands of years, belief has been an integral part of human societies, and has taken many forms – prayer, ritual, pilgrimage. The exhibition begins with a remarkable survival from the last Ice Age – the Lion Man, which you can read about in detail on this blog post. Here are some more key objects […]

  • Living with gods: a new partnership project with BBC Radio 4

    For the last 40,000 years – for as long as human beings have had the same sort of brain as we do – groups of people living together have tried to find patterns underlying the natural world on which they depend. All groups appear to come to a shared narrative, which seeks to explain their […]

  • What Black History Month means to me

    I have always felt lucky because I grew up in Jamaica just as it became independent. We turned to our history to create a collective national identity. We named national heroes that led rebellions against slavery and led us towards independence. We used text books that told us that the Africans transported to the Caribbean […]

  • Horses: a Scythian’s best friend

    Have you ever found yourself wondering who was the first person to decide to jump on a horse and ride it? It’s a good chance that it was a Scythian! The horse was an essential part of Scythian life and was the most important and multipurpose animal used by the nomads. Initially, the Scythians reared […]

  • Poetic licence: the Museum gets lyrical

    To celebrate National Poetry Day, we’re taking a look at the diverse world of poetry at the Museum. In fact, this post alludes to the form of a haiku: 5 poems inspired by objects, 7 poems on objects, and 5 miscellaneous poetry-based nuggets from the Museum. It’s also a bit of an epic – so […]

  • The British Museum Membercast: Behind the scenes

      Learn more about Scythian burial mounds and how they reveal what these nomadic warriors believed about the afterlife. 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, […]

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