British Museum

British Museum
Dedicated to human history

The British Museum is dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. The museum was established in 1753 largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. It first opened to the public on 15 January 1759 in Montagu House on the site of the current museum building and it expanded rapidly over the following two and a half centuries due to the UK's growing colonial footprint. Because of that growth and the lack of space in the existing building, in the early 19th century Montagu House was demolished and a huge construction project was put in place to build the main neo-classical building we see today; at the end of that century, houses surrounding the museum were bought and demolished to make room for additional wings. As a result of the growth in artefacts, the Natural History Museum was created in 1881 to house the natural history collections and in 1972 the British Library was established to separate the printed books and manuscripts. Some objects in the collection, most notably the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, are the objects of controversy and of calls for restitution to their countries of origin. Wikipedia/CTGuides