Founded in 1753 and officially opening its door in 1759, The British Museum was the first national museum to encompass all fields of human knowledge, available to access by visitors from all over the globe. At first, visitors had to apply for tickets to gain entry to see the museum’s collections and visiting hours were limited.
Today, however, The British Museum is unique in bringing together under one roof the cultures of the world, spanning continents and oceans. No other museum is responsible for collections of the same depth and breadth, beauty and significance.
Its eight million objects allow them to explore the extraordinary diversity of human cultures, from small communities to vast empires, to discover the many forms and expressions human beings have given to every aspect of life, and to realise how closely they are interconnected.
Enlightenment ideals and values – critical scrutiny of all assumptions, open debate, scientific research, progress and tolerance – have marked the Museum since its foundation.
The Museum is driven by an insatiable curiosity for the world, a deep belief in objects as reliable witnesses and documents of human history, sound research, as well as the desire to expand and share knowledge.
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