British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in the City of London. Its collection ranges from Egyptian civilizations to different pieces from the last centuries. It is essentially a museum of antique grouped according to the civilization which those pieces belonged.
Its collection of Egypt is the largest in the world just behind the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Within it we can see several mummies, coffins and the Rosetta stone, stone that allowed deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. Another important and controversial collection is the collection of the Elgin Marbles, a collection of friezes and statues that in the past belonged to the Greek Parthenon. The Greek Government is claiming along the last years that it is necessary those pieces return at its origin.
Other important collections include the Mildenhall Treasure, which contains a fourth-century tableware in silver, the Warren Cup, a controversial glass of Roman civilization with erotic homosexual figures or the Lindow Man, a body 2000 years ago that was preserved acids through a peat bog in Cheshire and probably belonged to the Celtic culture.
The museum is housed in a neoclassical building designed by architect Robert Smirke. It was built between 1852 and 1857. The main facade has several columns and a pediment with sculptural groups of Richard Westmacott.
Subsequently, the building has undergone renovations and extensions, some of them quite significant. In 1938, the American architect John Russell Pope designed the 'Duveen Gallery' where the collection of the Parthenon is showed, although it had to be rebuilt in 1962 because it was bombed during World War II. Moreover, in 2000, Norman Foster built the Great Court of Queen Elizabeth II in the center of the museum. The roof of this room was constructed in steel and glass. Inside this room is hosted the 'Reading Room', which in the past housed the National Library.
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|Geographical coordinates||51.5288316, -0.1271190|
|Address||NW1 2 City of London, Great Russell Street|
|More information||official website|