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The British Museum, Museum in London, England top tourist attraction

The British Museum, Museum in London 

England's Top Tourist Attraction

The British Museum, Museum in London, England top tourist attraction

The British Museum is a public museum dedicated to human history, art and culture located in the Bloomsbury area of ​​London. Its permanent collection of eight million works is the largest and most comprehensive in existence. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. The British Museum was the first public national museum in the world. The museum was founded in 1753, based mainly on the collection of Anglo-Irish physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. It first opened to the public in 1759 at Montagu House, on the site of the present building. The museum's expansion over the next 250 years was largely a result of British colonization and resulted in several branch institutions or independent spin-offs, the first being the Natural History Museum in 1881. In 1973, the British Libraries Act 1972 separated the Library Department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separate British Library in the same reading rooms and building as the museum until 1997.

The British Museum, Museum in London, England top tourist attraction

Today the museum no longer has a natural history collection, and the books and manuscripts it contained are now part of the independent British Library. Nevertheless the museum preserves its universality in its collection of artefacts representing world, ancient and modern cultures. The original collection of 1753 has grown to more than 13 million objects in the British Museum, 70 million in the Natural History Museum and 150 million in the British Library.

The Round Reading Room, designed by architect Sidney Smark, opened in 1857. For nearly 150 years researchers have come here to consult the museum's vast library. The reading room closed in 1997 when the National Library (British Library) moved to a new building in St Pancras. Today it has been transformed into the Walter and Leonor Annenberg Center.

The British Museum, Museum in London, England top tourist attraction

Demolition of Lord Foster's glass-roofed Great Court could begin, leaving the bookstacks bare in the museum's central courtyard. The Great Court, opened in 2000, while undoubtedly improving circulation around the museum, was criticized for its lack of exhibition space at a time when the museum was in dire financial straits and many galleries were closed to the public. At the same time the African collection which was temporarily housed at 6 Burlington Gardens was given a new gallery in the north wing funded by the Sainsbury family - at a cost of £25 million.

As part of its very large website, the museum has the largest online database of objects in the collection of any museum in the world, with over 2,000,000 individual object entries online as of early 2012. There is also a "Highlights" database containing lengthy entries on more than 4,000 objects, and several specialized online research catalogs and online journals (all free to access). The museum's website received 19.5 million visits in 2013, a 47% increase over the previous year.

The museum received a record 6.7 million visitors in 2013, a 20% increase over the previous year. Popular exhibitions including "Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum" and "Ice Age Art" are credited with helping to increase visitor numbers. In September 2014, plans were announced to rebuild the entire building, including all exhibits of the video game Minecraft, in conjunction with members of the public. Several films were shot at the British Museum.

The British Museum, Museum in London, England top tourist attraction

Additional information of the British Museum

Established: 7 June 1753; 269 years ago

Location: Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG, England, United Kingdom

Collection size: approx. 8 million objects

Visitors: 1,275,400 (2020) Ranked third nationally

Chair: George Osborne

Director: Hartwig Fischer

Public transit access: London Underground Goodge Street; Holborn; Tottenham Court Road; Russell Square;

Area: 807,000 sq ft (75,000 m2) in 94 galleries

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