The British Museum, located in London was established in 1753. It is a museum of human history and culture. The museum has large collections of the Sir Hans Sloane, the founder of the museum. It was opened for the first time for public in 1759. The museum is a non-departmental public body which is sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The British museum was established as a universal museum. The museum belonged neither to the church nor the king and was open to public. The museum also has Cotton and Harley manuscripts. The museum today is a museum as well as a library. The British Museum Library is the second largest library after the National Library of Paris. The museum also has antiquities in the form of Sir William Hamilton's collection of Greek vases.
In the 19th century the museum acquired collection of sculptures from places like Greece, Rome and Egypt. These artifacts dominated the antiquities displayed in the museum. After the Battle of Nile in 1801, the museum acquired a few more Egyptian sculptures. By 1805, Greek and Roman sculptures were added in the display of the museum. In 1840 the museum was a part of its very first overseas excavations. The years between 1840-1850 supported the excavations carried out in Assyria by A.H.Layard.
In 1851, the museum for the first time began to collect British and European medieval antiquities. In 1882 the museum became the first British body to research in Egypt by establishing an independent Egypt Exploration Fund. The museum today is no longer a house of collection of natural history, books and manuscripts. It however preserves the artifacts which are a representation of the cultures of the ancient and modern world.
Timings: 10.00 am -17.30pm (everyday)
British museum is one of the many free museums in London.
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