Visit London England
Visit London England
British Museum South Fa?ade

The British Museum

Great Russell Street

London, England

Written by Norm Katz
The British Museum is the world's oldest museum, founded in 1753. It has two and one half miles of galleries displaying artifacts from almost every aspect of international cultural history. Some of the highlights of the British Museum are the Rosetta Stone, the Celts and the Lindow Man, the Elgin Marbles in the Parthenon Galleries, the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Arts of Korea. The Roxie Walker Galleries of Egyptian Funerary Archaeology presents the British Museum's unparalleled collection of Egyptian mummies.

Queen Elizabeth II Great Court

The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court opened to the public on December 7, 2000, marking a new beginning for the
British Museum. The 100 million Pound development transforms the Museum's two acre inner courtyard, hidden for 150 years into Europe's largest covered square. Major pieces of sculpture are positioned around the Great Court reflecting the cultures represented in the Museum collection. They include the Lion of Cnidos, a seven and a half ton sculpture believed to date from around 300 BC, which stood on a high hill down the coast from the ancient city of Cnidos (in present- day southwest Turkey) and Hoak Hakananai'a, an Easter Island
Roman Silver Tokens
statue which was collected during a surveying voyage of HMS Topaze in 1868. Inside the Great Court, two monumental staircases wrap around the drum of the Reading Room and lead to the elliptical extension which houses the new Joseph Hotung Great Court Gallery, the Court Restaurant and a bridge link to the main Museum building. Beneath the courtyard are the Clore Education Center, The Ford Center for Young Visitors and the Sainsbury African Galleries.

Main Features of the British Museum

The British Museum Reading Room is among the most famous libraries in the world and is now open to the general public for the first time
in its history. The Reading Room sits at the heart of the Great Court and has been used by distinguished writers and opinion makers like Karl Marx, Rudyard Kipling, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw and Mahatma Gandhi. The Joseph Hotung Great Court Gallery creates a unique space for the popular appreciation of the world's history and cultures from Cleopatra to the Unknown Amazon. The Clore Education Center contains two auditoriums presenting lectures, film and video presentations, academic conferences, and concerts. It
British Museum
also contains the Ford Center for Young Visitors which provides teaching areas, lunchrooms and cloakrooms to the hundreds of thousands of young people who visit in school and college groups. As a part of the British Museum's 250th Anniversary Program of Development its ethnographical collections are being brought back to the British Museum from the Museum of Mankind where they had previously been moved. The British Museum Ethnography collections portrays a complete picture of human achievement illuminating world cultures. Part of the British Museum's Ethnography collections includes the Sainsbury African Galleries amongst the finest African collections in the world.

Hours of Operation and Location

The British Museum is located on Great Russell Street, London WC1. It is open Mon-Wed 9:00 am-9:00 pm. Thu-Sat 9:00 am-11:00 pm. Sun 9:00 am- 6:00 pm. Admission is Free. Guided tours 5 Pounds - 7 Pounds.

For more information call the British Museum at (020) 7323 8000 in London, England.

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Last Updated: September 23, 2015