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Features > London, England (July 2006) > British Museum

The British Museum is one of the world's largest museums of history and culture. It is home to numerous famous artifacts such as the Rosetta stone.

Riding the tube in from Harrow, this is a neat photo of the priority seat sticker (for elderly or those with children) in a repeating pattern

The British Museum

A panoramic view of the Great Court. The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court is a covered square at the centre of the British Museum designed by the architects Foster and Partners.

Colossal marble lion
From Knidos in Asia Minor (now Turkey) Hellenistic period, probably the late 4th-early 3rd century BC This lion crowned a monumental tomb at the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. The hollow eyes were probably inset with glass to catch the light.
GR 1859. 12-26. 24. BM Sc. 1350


A family enjoys a dinner at the fancy restaurant on the upper floor of the great court. The windows of the Reading Room can be seen in the background.

Another view from the upper floor of the Great Court with parts of the older building (facing entrance) shown behind)


I was lucky enough to attend a free tour (on TOP of the free admission to all public museums in the UK) and here the guide gets cozy with the Rosetta Stone (don't worry, this one is a cast)

From an Asian gallery

The date of the opening of the Great Court

A man reads the key to egyptian...hieroglyphs next to the Rosetta Stone

A commercial tour group gets a description of the Parthenon or Elgin Marbles. These are the source of quite a bit of controversy with the Greek Government claiming that the marbles should be returned to Athens on moral grounds.


Black-figured amphora (jar), with Dionysos and two satyrs
Made in Athens about 520-500 BC; attributed to the painter Psiax, and signed on the rim by Andokides as potter Dionysos, god of wine, holds a drinking-horn in one hand and a vine branch in the other
From Vulci in Etruria Northhampton Collection
GR 1980.10-29.1

Two visitors look over the Great Court from above in the entrance building

Ten poems from Hafez, 2004
Artist: Jila Peacock, Iran/UK
The picture of a peacock is made up of the words of a poem featuring a peacock by the 14th-century Iranian poet Hafez. The words are written in the nasta'liq script. Handmade book of silk-screened prints on Japanese paper
Catalogue no. 19, 2006 2-8 01
Brooke Sewell Permanent Fund

The Great Court

Set of balance, coin weights and box, made by Guillaume de Neve (1600-54), Amsterdam, Holland
This typical Dutch box of the early 17th century includes weights for the principal gold coins current throughout the previous century, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian and Egyptian, as well as local, pieces. The box (or at least its label) is dated 1628, but many of the weights, though also produced by de Neve, have later dates.

I really wouldn't want to carry this around and I'm sure nobody could make change for it...
Copper 8-daler, 1658, Karl X Gustav
The first Coinage Act for the plate money (1644) ordered the striking of 10-daler plates, but after this issue the 8 dalers became the largest to be produced, weighing initially around 15kg. A Danish visitor to Sweden commented on the problems of transporting the plates, 'Many people carry their money in a rope on their backs, others place them on their head and, in cases of large sums, they transport them on a wagon.'

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