The British Museum is one of the most remarkable museums in the world. It houses a massive collection of some of the most renowned historical artifacts from all around the world. With a record 19.5 million annual visitor turnout in the previous year, the British Museum is the best sights to visit in London.
In view of its immense popularity, the museum is included in the must-see sights category of all the British Museum guided tour programs. Below is a collection of interesting and informative facts for those who are wishing to tour British Museum.
Sir Hans Sloane handed over his personal collection to King George II upon his death in 1753, which included thousands of books, antiquities, and other national specimens as the first collection included in the museum. Although the British Museum was established in the same year based on the artifacts of Sir Sloane, it was first opened to the public in the Montague House in 1759.
The British Museum holds more than 8 million objects currently, mostly natural collections and manuscripts from various locations from all across the world. The museum also acquired a few collections of antique Greek vases in 1772 besides its collection of manuscripts and natural history.
At a given time, about 80,000 of these objects are put on display for the visitors in its selected 194 storerooms. The other collection that amounts to about 2 million is available for viewing online.
One of the diverse range of collections that encompass the British Museum is Egyptian artifacts. This includes some of the rarest artifacts from the times of the Pharaohs such as the Book of the Dead, mummified cats, Pharaoh Amenhotep III’s statue and the Rosetta Stone.
The importance of these artifacts that are housed in the museum lies in the fact that they have helped Egyptologists vastly in studying about the Egyptian culture and in interpreting hieroglyphs.
The British Museum is truly unique unlike any other museums in the world as it has its own tube station. Construction of this station began in 1898 and it was opened to the public in 1900. However, it was closed down in 1933 after the opening of the Holborn station.
The British Museum has done more to the propagation of art than any other museum in the world. It lets out its collection for the sake of increasing public awareness and collaboration to displays in the UK and museums around the world.