cover image

British Museum

National museum in London, United Kingdom / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about British Museum?

Summarize this article for a 10 year old


The British Museum is a public museum dedicated to human history, art and culture located in the Bloomsbury area of London. Its permanent collection of eight million works is the largest in the world.[3] It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present.[lower-alpha 1] The British Museum was the first public national museum to cover all fields of knowledge.[4]

Quick facts: Established, Location, Collection size, Visit...
British Museum
Aerial shot of the British Museum
British Museum is located in Central London
British Museum
Location within Central London
Established7 June 1753; 270 years ago (1753-06-07)
LocationGreat Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG, England, United Kingdom
Collection sizeApprox. 8 million objects[1]
Visitors4,097,253 (2022)[2] (up 209 per cent from 2021)
ChairGeorge Osborne
DirectorSir Mark Jones
Public transit accessLondon Underground Elizabeth line Tottenham Court Road
London Underground Goodge Street; Holborn; Russell Square Edit this at Wikidata
Area807,000 sq ft (75,000 m2) in
94 galleries
The Great Court was developed in 2001 and surrounds the original Reading Room.

In 2022 the museum received 4,097,253 visitors, an increase of 209 per cent from 2021. It ranked third in the list of most-visited art museums in the world.[5]

The museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the Anglo-Irish physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane.[6] It first opened to the public in 1759, in Montagu House, on the site of the current building. The museum's expansion over the following 250 years was largely a result of British colonisation and resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, or independent spin-offs, the first being the Natural History Museum in 1881. The right to ownership of some of its most well-known acquisitions, notably the Greek Elgin Marbles and the Egyptian Rosetta Stone, is subject to long-term disputes and repatriation claims.[7][8]

In 1973, the British Library Act 1972[9] detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and as with all national museums in the UK it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions.[10]

Oops something went wrong: