25 Fascinating facts about the British Museum in London.
Did you know that the British Museum houses over 8 million objects!? but only 1% of them are on display at any given time. Additonally did you know that it houses exhibits like the Rosetta stone? A stone which was instrumental in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. Read more such fascinating facts about the British Museum!
1) The most popular tourist attraction in the UK is the British Museum in London. The museum attracts over 7 million individuals annually.
2) According to the British Museum website, the collection of the museum spans over two million years of human history. Most of the collection is from the era of the British Empire.
3) The British museum recreated the recipe of a 2000-year-old loaf of bread. The Roman loaf of bread was discovered during excavations in Herculaneum.
4) The British Museum is an institution which is older than the United States of America.
5) A cat named Mike guarded the gates of the museum between the years 1909 to 1929. After its demise, the TIME magazine wrote two obituaries for it. Additionally, Mike is also the most famed British feline of the 20th century.
6) The British Museum is the first National Public Museum in history. The museum was founded in 1753 and opened its doors in 1759, it is the first National museum to cover the entire field of human knowledge. Additionally, it is open to visitors all over the world and it has no fee of admission.
7) During WWII, part of the Piccadilly line was closed and the British Museum artefacts were stored in the empty spaces.
8) The British Museum was once going to be located at the now Buckingham Palace. Before opening the museum to the public, it was required to be located at a good site. The Buckingham place was considered first. The same location for the now Buckingham Palace. The trustees then made the decision to move it into the Montagu House where it is situated now.
9) The collection of the British Museum got so large during one point that they had to build two separate institutions to house the collection; The National History Museum and The British Library.
10) The British Museum is one of the first public building in London to use Electric Lighting. In 1879, the museum made use of electric lighting to light up the Reading Room, Front Hall and the Forecourt.
11) The British Museum is the set used in the Popular movie Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014). Additionally, It is the set used in 15 movies! Moreover, around 50 film crews come to the Museum annually for the filming of documentaries and music videos.
12) The British Museum holds the title for the largest indoor space on Google Street View.
13) Contrary to what you thought, the railings of the British Museum are not black but are painted invisible green.
14) The British Museum once had a room called the Secretum, which housed obscene and erotic items from history. Once upon a time, one required a special pass to view these exhibits. But not anymore! Now, these artefacts are on display throughout the museum. These artefacts include The Warren cup, The Statue of Tara and Pan copulating with a goat.
15) Back in 1912 one had to give a written exam in order to be a part of the staff at the British Museum. If one wanted to work in services such as printing and drawing then you had to answer additional questions.
Some of these questions were ” what was the relationship between a goldsmith and an engraver in 6th century Germany?” or “give a brief account of types of ancient coins?”
16) One of the first-ever customer complaints is on display at the British Museum. Basically, a man named Nanni wrote a complaint to his copper merchant around 4000 years ago!
17) The British Museum believes in the policy of sharing is caring. It has loaned around 5000 of its exhibits worldwide.
18) One of the most popular exhibits at the British Museum is the Rosetta stone.
The British Museum houses the Rosetta Stone which dates back to 196 BC. French soldiers discovered it in 1799 and its discovery was game-changing for Egyptology. Essentially, the Rosetta Stone was the key to helping people decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics and unlocking its secrets.