The British Museum in London
Attractions | 11.10.2019
London can be definitely called the city of museums: there are over 250 of them in the British capital. Among all of them the British Museum stands out – it is the largest in the country and the second most visited museum in the world.
About the British Museum
The museum was founded in 1753. The basis for it was a collection of 71 thousand antiquities of the physicist and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane. The museum's collection grew rapidly and in the mid-19th century moved into a magnificent building built in the neoclassical style designed by architect Robert Smirke. By the beginning of the 2000s, the interior of the museum was renewed, and a mesh roof was installed over the inner yard, adding a modernistic detail to the historic building.

You can get to the museum by metro. The nearest stations are Tottenham Court Road, Russell Square, Holborn. Working hours: every day: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM, on Thursdays and Fridays some departments are open until 8:30 PM.
Gradually, the area began to turn into public and commercial space. At first it was a merchant's row on the upper deck, and in the 12th century, after the reconstruction of the square and getting rid of the already dilapidated stadium, it was turned into market. It is interesting that now it is almost impossible to trade on the square, only sometimes it is allowed to do this during Christmas markets.
Do you know?
  • Today the museum's collection has 8 million exhibits. In each of the departments objects of historical significance are collected. For example, in the Egyptian hall one can single out the Rosetta stone (with its help the ancient Egyptian script was deciphered), and in the Greek hall – the fragments of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (one of the seven ancient Wonders of the World).
  • The reading room is a "museum inside a museum". Before moving to a new building in 1997, it housed the British Library. For more than 150 years of history, outstanding writers and politicians of the 19th and 20th centuries managed to work here: K. Marks, V. Lenin, M. Gandhi and others. Since 2006, temporary thematic exhibitions have been located in the hall, the first of which was the exposition of the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.
  • A special pride of the museum is a rare collection of art… of North Korea. It is practically impossible to take exhibits from such a closed country as the DPRK to the west, but the staff of the British Museum managed to do it. In 2001–2002, a team led by Jane Portal gathered a collection of paintings, posters, coins and other items. Now there are more than 80 items on show, which makes it the largest in the west.
  • For many years, cats have officially worked as guards in the museum. The most famous cat named Mike held its office for twenty years, from 1909 to 1929. After his death, the newspapers Time and Evening Standard published an obituary dedicated to Mike.
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