Culture Vulture,England,London,Museums,Sights,Travel

Culture Vulture – The British Museum

Another stop on my one-year anniversary in London day; the British Museum is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in the world.  Even if you spent an entire day in there you would not get to see everything and I only managed a couple of hours.  This is not a definitive review of the collections, but merely a snapshot of the things I found most interesting.

The museum building itself is beautiful, the facade in the style of Greek Revival and the stunning Queen Elizabeth II Great Court with it’s 1,656 uniquely shaped panes of glass!  It’s a lovely place just to sit and watch the clouds and people moving around.

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The gift shop and cafes are in here, along with some objects that also make the place look pretty amazing:

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But on to the collections! The British Museum houses objects that show the story of human culture from its ancient beginnings to the present.  It houses objects from cultures as diverse as the Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greece and Rome, China, Mexico, the Pacific and the Americas.

I sometimes have mixed feelings about museums.  On the one hand I love seeing things that I probably might not get to see otherwise, and I love the way they often present displays; but on the other hand I sometimes agree with the people who argue that objects have been stolen from their rightful cultures and should be given back.  Case in point, the parts of the Parthenon in Greece, that were ripped off the building and brought back to London.

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It’s amazing to see, but I can’t help thinking that I’d rather go to Athens and actually see them on the original building. I feel the same way about a lot of the objects, particularly the ones from Ancient Egypt.  I mean, these were actually stolen from inside tombs, and not just the objects but the coffins and the bodies which are now out for people to gawk at.
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But still, as a teacher I can see the educational aspect of these places, and seeing the Rosetta Stone for real was pretty amazing!
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I also really liked the giant statues and friezes from Iran. Can’t help thinking they would have looked even more amazing still attached to the ancient palaces they were built to protect, but I’ll stop harping on about it now.
Aphrodite in the nude!
The statue from Easter Island (not as big as I was expecting).
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Objects from the Americas..
Africa..
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Asia:
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And the United Kingdom itself (apparently this is a cast of a skeleton, not the real thing):

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Some of my favourites included this lino-cut by Picasso:

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This lion from the Palace of Nebuchadnezzar II:
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And this modern sculpture that I’m assuming represents the four horsemen of the apocalypse (famine, strife, plague and pestilence):
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Ethical mutterings aside, this place is definitely well worth a visit if you’re in London, but make sure you give yourself quite some time to see it all if you can’t come back another day! Website here.

The British Museum

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    My Top Ten Things to do in London | Tassie Devil Abroad
    April 15 at 5:00 PM

    […] in Athens, Egyptian mummies and so much more. I wrote a more detailed post about the British Museum here if you’d like to see and read […]

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