A world repository

255 years ago today, the British Museum opened its doors for the first time. It was the first public museum in the world and continues to be one of the best.

It’s all the fault of Sir Hans Sloane and his will. He bequeathed over 71,000 objects to the crown on the condition that they were preserved as a collection for the nation. Following an act of parliament, the British Museum was created. I wonder what Sir Hans would think of how this act has evolved into what we visit today.

While being in different buildings, the museum has always occupied the same site. At various times, over the years, different collections of objects have been moved to more specialist places – the Natural History Museum, for instance, was created from one.

Apart from the two world wars, the museum has remained open since January 15, 1759 and has always been free. The number of visitors has increased (as you’d expect with air travel making it easier to get here from anywhere in the world), culminating in seven million in 2013. That is an amazing achievement for a museum.

So, many happy returns, British Museum, and many, many more birthdays to come.

Birthday celebrations aside, it was Date Night and we decided to treat ourselves to the best Chinese food outside Beijing at the Lotus. As usual, they didn’t disappoint.

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2 Responses to A world repository

  1. Mirinda says:

    Happy birthday BM! Was he related to john soanes?

  2. Wow!! what a birthday and still free that is great accomplishment in this day must be the only thing in the world. Happy Birthday BM.
    LOVE MUM X

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