British Museum

British Museum

A Diverse Collection Of Artefacts
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About British Museum

The British Museum is located in London's Bloomsbury neighbourhood and is famed for being the world's first museum opened to the public with free entry. The British Museum in London houses an eight-million-work permanent collection, making it one of the world's largest museums. The British Museum London is the most comprehensive museum in the world, focusing on human history, art, and culture.

No other museum in the world has ever been able to bring together such a diverse collection of artefacts from both huge empires and small towns.The British Museum in London combines civilizations from different continents, oceans, and eras together. Visiting this museum is one of the most significant things to do in London because it displays the elegance of the world's greatest civilizations.

The museum is home to a number of unique collectibles that will just wave your mind. You can choose to explore the Inner Coffin of Hornedjitef, and will get to witness many age old artefacts and jewellery. You will also come across the statue of Goddess Tara which is a gilt bronze statue that dates back to the 8th century and was taken from King Kandy in Sri Lanka.

Highlights Of The British Museum

British Museum
  • Get to witness the Rosetta Stone that contains three languages, which helped modern scholars to translate the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.
  • Get a chance to witness the ancient Greek sculptures, the Parthenon marble, and get a glimpse of the early Greek culture.
  • Lose yourself in the beauty of the Great Hall, the largest covered square in Europe and the heart of the British Museum London
  • Get mesmerized by the enlightenment area, that was known as the King’s library which is home to more than 60,000 books and is dedicated to the 18th century.
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Collection Highlights At British Museum

The British Museum London is the first museum that was opened to the public for free. The Museum has objects and artifacts from all around the world that show the interlink between different cultures and traditions. The permanent object collections add up to more than 8 lakhs and are one of the largest in the world.

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British Museum
Inner Coffin Of Hornedjitef

Hornedjitef's Coffin is one of the most sought after collectibles in the British Museum in London. The coffin has a face and a neck, as well as a collar with falcon-head-shaped terminals. Hornedjitef, son of Nekhthorheb, was a priest who served in a variety of capacities. The collar bears an image of ‘ba’ in the middle, while the chest decoration depicts Hornedjitef worshipping five deities.

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British Museum
Brass Head Of An Ooni (King) Of Ife

When the brass head was found, the archaeologists were not sure to whom the head belonged, but they knew that it had to be someone authoritative and powerful, hence naming it the head of Ooni, meaning king. The brass head was made using the lost wax technique and the size of the head is almost life-like. The head has a crown with a very complicated pattern that confirms the power of the king. The face is elongated and there are two lines of holes running from the earlobes, one crossing the lower lip and jaw, and the other at the angle from the neck and jaw.

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Goddess Tara
The Goddess Tara

The statue of Goddess Tara is a gilt-bronze statue that was made in the 8th century and was taken from King Kandy in Sri Lanka. The female deity in the sanding structure is half naked with just a piece of cloth tied around her waist, due to which the statue was hidden from the public for 30 years because it was considered “too erotic” for the public. However, the purpose and intention of the deity were always pure and the deity is considered to be the goddess of achievement and is worshipped by many while meditating.

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Raphael Cartoon For 'Virgin And Child'
Raphael Cartoon For 'Virgin And Child'

This is a drawing by Raphael, who was inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci, in which Virgin Mary is cradling Baby Jesus, who has his arm wrapped around his neck. The drawing is done in an unusual fashion, with white chalk for highlights and black charcoal for the rest. To transfer the artwork to another surface, the painter and his assistant pricked the painting with great alignment.

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British Museum
Lewis Chessmen

Lewis Chessmen in the British Museum in London are pieces of chess that were acquired mysteriously. It is guessed that the pieces of chess belonged to a merchant traveling from Norway to Ireland, and the pieces even though a few are missing, are in great shape. What is known certainly about the chess pieces is that they were acquired in the 11th century when they were exhibited in Scotland.

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Shield From West Papua
Shield From West Papua

The shield of Papua is one of the most unique objects in the British Museum London. The shield is made of wood and is carved in relief and then painted in red and white colours.The shield's back is divided in half lengthwise and is coloured in the same red and white as the front.The handle of the shield is broken and the patterns in the shield represent zoomorphic heads and feet or hands.

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Achilles defeating Penthesilea
Ancient Greek Black figured Amphora

This Greek structure is a black pottery amphora with patterns and drawings on it depicting scenes and stories. Under each handle, there is a spiral design and there are more than one pottery amphoras in the British Museum London, each showing different stories. One amphora shows a scene where Achilles has beaten down the queen of Penthaselia and has his sword through her neck. In another amphora, Dionysos is giving his son Oinopion, naked and beardless, a vine branch.

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Lycurgus Cup
The Lycurgus Cup

The Lycurgus Cup is a glass cage cup of the 4th Century Roman times that is made of Dichroic glass. The glass is well known for its ability to change colours depending on the light passing through it. When light is passing from behind then it is red in color and when light is passing from the front it becomes green. The Lycurgus Cup is the only Roman glass object that is fully finished and made from this type of glass.

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Collection Themes At British Museum

The British Museum in London has objects and artifacts from all around the world and many of them are decked up with uniqueness. Every single theme of the museum focuses on its individual concept and shows the cultures and history of a particular continent, like the Americas, China, etc..

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British Museum
Americas

The theme of America has more than 90,000 objects that are contemporary, archaeological, and historical. The objects in the collection date back to 12000 years and show a rich history of the continent. The items on display also showcase the interlink of the two continents which are quite evident. There are many unique objects here, from ceremonial masks of people to staircases recreated in Lancashire stone from the Maya script.

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British Museum
Animals

The animal theme in the British Museum in London is based on the flora and fauna in the world from different time periods and eras. There are many animals with various ‘avatars’ which showcase the period they belong to. The animals also have a rich history and interesting stories behind them and once you get to know about the stories, you will know the importance of flora and fauna in the history of the world.

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British Museum
China

China not only happens to be one of the most populated countries in the world but it is also the oldest civilizations in the world. The Chinese artifacts have been a huge part of the British Museum in London since its establishment. The collection was started from the belongings of Sir Hans Sloane, from the Neolithic area and now the collection has expanded to about 23,000 objects. Exploring this theme, you will get to know how rich is the culture of China as well as its customs.

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British Museum
Death And Memory

The theme of death and memory collection focuses on the remembrance of life after death. You will find objects that show the history of ghostbusting in Mesopotamia from Iriving Finkel to the discovery of an Anglo-Saxon finery inside a buried ship at Sutton Hoo. You will be fascinated by the stories behind the artifacts and will be enlightened about death and afterlife or remembrance.

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British Museum
Desire, Love And Identity

Desire, Love, and Identity are as important to a person as air, water, and land, and the British Museum in London understands them well. The collection theme based on Desire, Love, and Identity is famous for showing pieces of evidence and histories of LGBTQ lives and communities. The stories of the Roman emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous and an early 20th-century N’Domo mask in Mali showcase the love and desire of the LGBTQ community of that era.

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British Museum
Egypt

The Egypt theme collection in the British Museum London is one of the richest and most famous collections. People from all around the globe visit the British Museum to get a glimpse of ancient Greek history. The artifacts date back to the early establishments of Greek civilization. Objects like the Rosetta Stone became the base for modern scholars to translate the Egyptian scripts. Before the discovery of the stone, the hieroglyphics or scripts were impossible to unlock.

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Famous Galleries In British Museum

The British Museum is known for its one of the largest collections of art and artifacts in the world, summing up to eight million objects. There are different galleries in the museum that focus on the themes and showcase the interdependence of various cultures of different time periods in the world.

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British Museum
Egyptian Sculpture Gallery

The Egyptian Sculpture Gallery is dedicated to the Egyptian artifacts and history that will take you 3000 years back. The gallery is known to show the history of three millennia of pharaonic history as the gallery has transformed with the evolution of Egyptian culture. The modern Egyptian era started with the French expedition along with Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt. After the British defeated the French, they brought all the important artifacts including the Rosetta Stone which is the most important object in the museum.

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British Museum
Africa

The gallery focuses on African history and culture and there are many arts and artifacts that take you back to a time of ancient Africa. The gallery has objects that show the history of trade, gender, power, identity, religion, and transformation. The objects in this gallery have artistic things like metalwork, textiles, pottery making, masquerade, and sculptors. The collection features contemporary artefacts that depict the culture that is still practised in Africa by individuals living on the continent as well as people who live outside of Africa yet maintain their tradition.

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British Museum
Sutton Hoo And Europe

Europe witnessed great changes in the centuries from AD 300 to 1100. The European continent was still taking shape as the Roman Empire broke down in the west. People along with objects and ideas from Europe were moving to and from other places and continents. Christianity and Islam religion were flourishing. The Sutton Hoo and Europe gallery shows objects from this era and tells the story of how Europe was formed. The main object here is the sunken ship of Sutton Hoo, being one of the greatest discoveries in British Archaeology.

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British Museum
Roman Empire

The roman empire gallery of the British Museum in London shows the rise of the roman empire from a small town to a large capital that controlled various parts of Europe. The artifacts in the gallery show a history of 1000 years, from the foundation of Rome from 753 BC to AD 324. The objects in the gallery belong to the entire empire and the Christian Capital Constantinople (Istanbul) which was founded by Constantine. The artifacts show the culture and traditions that were followed then and their significance in today’s world.

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Know Before You Visit British Museum

Essential Information
How To Reach British Museum

Location: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom

Timing: it is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm.

Best time to visit:The best time to visit the British Museum would be in the late afternoon, after 3pm. During this time you will experience more free space and less crowd, leading you to enjoy exhibitions with more peace and quiet.

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FAQs

What is the best time to visit the British Museum?

The museum remains open every day but the best time to visit the British Museum is on the weekdays. The peak hours of the museum are from 10 am to 3 pm in the afternoon, so to avoid the crowd you can visit in the late afternoon of any weekday or on a Friday night.

Is the entry free inside the British Museum?

The entry to the British Museum is absolutely free for local London residents as well as for foreign tourists. However, you are always welcome to give donations generously.

What makes the British Museum so special?

The British Museum is the first museum that was open to the public for free. There are arts and artifacts from all around the world and the permanent collections add up to eight million objects, making it one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in the world. It shows the interlink between various cultures of the world in today’s time as well as from the establishment of civilization.

Is there wheelchair accessibility inside the British Museum?

Yes, there is wheelchair accessibility inside the British Museum as the entire museum is wheelchair friendly.

How old is the British Museum?

The British Museum was built in 1753, however, was open to the public in 1759, in the same building as we are seeing today. The expansion of the museum never stopped and thus branches of this museum and independent institutions kept opening.

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