There is a world inside the British Museum that is considered as the major attraction in London, Europe. Featuring the human history as well as culture, the British Museum offers a spectacular collection of objects that ranges over seven million. The objects are one of the largest as well as most comprehensive collection present anywhere on Earth. In fact, the objects were originated from all the continents. The museum offers each and every visitor its illustration and documentation of the human culture story right from its foundation until its present day.
Established in the year 1753, the museum is highly based on the compilations of the physician as well as scientist Sir Hans Sloane. Initially, the museum was opened on January 15, 1759 to the public in Montagu House, which is in Bloomsbury. Due to its expansion over the years, that is two and a half centuries, the museum today has many of the branch institutions out of which, the first is the British Museum of Natural History in South Kensington, established in the year 1887. Some of objects in the Museum’s collection are actually the objects of extreme controversy as well as calls for the compensation to their countries of origin. The most notable object in the collections are the Elgin Marbles brought from the Parthenon.
The museum was also home to the British Library, which was later shifted to a new site in the year 1997. Along with the library, the museum was unique that housed in one building both the national museum of antiquities as well as a national library. The museum is in fact a non-departmental public body, which is sponsored by the Department of Culture, Media as well as Sport. Like the other national museums in all over United Kingdom, the British Museum does not charge any admission fee. Founded before 250 years, the museum is an encyclopedia of nature and also of art. However, now the museum do not house the collections of natural history.
The original collection of this museum was of 1753 collection that was then grown to more than 13 million objects. Out of this, 70 million objects are kept at the Natural History Museum and 150 million could be found at the British Library. The huge Round Reading Room was designed by the Sydney Smirke, an architect, and was opened in the year 1857. This library has amazing history of 150 years. Researchers came here to get the information. The Reading Room was closed after the shifting of the national library that is the British Library in the year 1997 to a new building, which is at St Pancras.
The room today has been transformed into the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Centre, which includes the Paul Hamlyn Library of books about the collections of the museum and is open to every visitor. The entrance of the museum and the Greek revival façade of the building is simply amazing scattering the flavor of ancient world through its ancient architectural work. The façade faces the Great Russell Street and has total 44 columns in the Ionic order with the height of 45 feet. It is strongly based on the Athena Polias temple at Priene, which is in Asia Minor.
Exploring various departments in the museum will offer the world under one roof with full history of the ancient civilizations. The departments includes:
Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan
Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities
Department of Middle East
Department of Prints and Drawings
Department of Asia
Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas
Department of Coins and Medals
Department of Prehistory and Europe
Department of Conservation and Scientific Reserch
At every room of the Museum, you will see something unique and different. No wonder, the museum is truly a world full of attractions that cannot be explored just in a day. You need to visit the site whenever you go to London and keep some days in hand, so that you can explore the British Museum calmly by taking time, as this will be a lifetime experience for you.