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Explore the British Museum:  Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
 

The British Museum was founded in 1753, the first national public museum in the world. From the beginning it granted free admission to all ‘studious and curious persons’. Visitor numbers have grown from around 5,000 a year in the eighteenth century to nearly 6 million today.

The Museum is free to all visitors and is open daily 10.00–17.30

the British Museum forecourt (on a sunny day) 🙂

The origins of the British Museum lie in the will of the physician, naturalist and collector, Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753).

Over his lifetime, Sloane collected more than 71,000 objects which he wanted to be preserved intact after his death. So he bequeathed the whole collection to King George II for the nation in return for a payment of £20,000 to his heirs.

What’s on:

Kingdom if Ife – Sculptures from West Africa – till 6th June 2010

Fra Angelico to Leonarda – Italian Renaissance drawings – till July 25th 2010

Impressions of Africa – money, medals and stamps – till 6th February 2011 – free

Treasures from Medieval York – England’s other capital – till 27 June 2010 – free

The British Museum’s collection of seven million objects representing the rich history of human cultures mirrors the city of London’s global variety. In no other museum can the visitor see so clearly the history of what it is to be human.

Amongst the exhibitions you can see:

The Rosetta Stone –  A valuable key to the decipherment of hieroglyphs, the inscription on the Rosetta Stone is a decree passed by a council of priests. It is one of a series that affirm the royal cult of the 13-year-old Ptolemy V on the first anniversary of his coronation.  Soldiers in Napoleon’s army discovered the Rosetta Stone in 1799 while digging the foundations of an addition to a fort near the town of el-Rashid (Rosetta). On Napoleon’s defeat, the stone became the property of the British under the terms of the Treaty of Alexandria (1801) along with other antiquities that the French had found.  The Rosetta Stone has been exhibited in the British Museum since 1802.

as well as cultural displays of:

The Akkadian Dynasty; Assyrians & Aztecs; Babylonian & Bronze Age; Celts, Vikings & Tudor England; Edo period Japan, Meiji era Japan; old and new Kingdoms of Egypt; Zhou Dynasty China; Medieval Europe, Victorian Britain and Greek, Roma and Nasca cultures, amongst dozens more.

Explore world cultures: Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Oceana, The Americas.

Be sure to visit the History of the World  in 100 objects exhibition

You could quite literally spend the whole day there and not be bored.  It is just fabulous and a must see for very visitor to London!

Getting there: nearest tubes stations with a short walk: Tottenham Court Road (Central & Northern Lines), Holborn (Piccadilly & Central Line) & Russell Square (Piccadilly Line) is the closest and takes you through a lovely garden square.

If you fancy a bite to eat after enjoying the displays, there is an onsite restaurant and on the way to Russell Square station is Hotel Russell where you can enjoy an traditional English Tea in very spendid and posh surroundings, reminiscent of old Colonial England.

Hotel Russell - London near Russel Square

Thanks to The British Museum for links, info and photos and Hotel Russel Square for photo.

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