The British Museum
©
The Heritage Trust
 
The British Museum is 255 years old today. Writing in The Telegraph, Alice Philipson reports that –
 
The museum was established largely on the collection of naturalist and collector Sir Hans Sloane, who amassed more than 71,000 objects which he wanted to be preserved after his death. So he bequeathed the entire collection to King George II in return for a £20,000 payment to his heirs. When the museum opened on 15 January 1759, it was housed in 17th-century mansion Montagu House, in Bloomsbury on the site of today’s building. Entry was free and given to “all studious and curious persons”.
 
The British Museum’s Great Court (opened to the public in 2001) is a stunning two-acre area covered by a glass roof designed by Foster and Partners. It is the largest covered public square in Europe, with the original British Library Reading Room at its centre. Last year was the British Museum’s busiest year with 6.7 million visits.
 
Full Telegraph article here.