The British Museum in the UK is without doubt, one of the most important London museums in the world. Dedicated to human culture and history, this museum has over eight million objects on display. Those pieces came from different continents, all of which showcasing the birth of the human culture and how it transformed to what it is like today. This fact alone puts the British Museum in every traveler’s list of things to do in London.
Located on the Great Russell Street in London, UK, the British Museum is a non-departmental public body. Sponsored by the UK Department for Culture, Media, and Sport, this London museum imposes no admission fees to its visitors. However, the free passes rule doesn’t hold true when loaned exhibitions are at display at the museum.
The British Museum is said to have been founded in 1753 upon the death of Sir Hans Slone. Slone is an avid collector of many curiosities. Before he died, he personally bequeathed his collections to the nation through King George II for sum of £20,000. His collection consisted of 7,000 manuscripts, 40,000 printed books, and some 24,000 objects that include specimens of natural history, prints and drawings of famous artists, and antiquities. What he owned was enough to build an art gallery under his name. Upon King George II’s formal assent, the Act of Parliament established the British Museum on June 7, 1753. Sir Hans Slone’s collection grew exponentially since then, and so is the building that once housed them. Today, the British Museum is one of the most famous London museums. It amasses interest all over the world, generating almost 7 million visitors in 2013 alone.
Two of the most popular exhibitions in the art galleries of the British Museum is the “Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum” and the “Ice Age Art”. Both of these exhibits draw multitudes of visitors annually. But because of the museum’s sheer vastness, the exhibit halls were divided into different departments for easy showcasing of related items on display. The art galleries of this London museum from different parts of the world.
were divided into the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, the Department of Greece and Rome,the Department of the Middle East, the Department of Prehistory and Europe, the Department of Asia, Department of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, the Department of Coins and Medals, and the Department of Conservation and Scientific Research.
The millions of art pieces found at the British museum came from different parts of the world. A few of the most contested pieces in its collection are the Elgin Marbles of Greece, the Benin Bronzes of Nigeria, and the Ethiopian Tabots of Ethiopia. This London museum also has under its possession the 4 stolen drawings from the Nazi plunder, the Oxus Treasure of Tajikistan, and the Rosetta Stone of Egypt.
Famous Artworks by Famous Artists
There are thousands of paintings housed at the art galleries of British Museum right now. Its collection of paintings, drawings, and artworks include Rembrandt’s ‘The Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross’ (1635) and Sandro Botticelli’s ‘Allegory of Abundance’ (1485). It also keeps the sketches of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci, which were entitled the ‘Study of Heads, Mother and Child’, ‘Studies of a Reclining Male Nude’, and ‘The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne’ respectively. The other notable paintings found inside the walls of the British museum are Thomas Gainsborough’s ‘Drawing of a Woman with a Rose’ (1765), JMW Turner’s ‘Watercolour of Newport
Castle’ (1976), and John Constable’s ‘London from Hampstead Heath’ (1831). All of these and more are the reasons why visiting this museum should be included in every tourist’s list of things to do in London.