It’s the first national museum in the world and it’s still one of the biggest–a structure built to house historical artefacts for the edification of “curious and studious persons,” belonging neither to King nor Church.
Admission has always been free, from the moment it opened in its original location at Montague House in 1753.
Back then the collection mainly contained objects that belonged to physician Sir Hans Sloane, but it got so popular that by the 1820s not only did the collection outgrow the building, but everyone already knew where the restrooms were. This was not acceptable. To rectify this problem, construction for the current site began and thanks to architect Sir Robert Smirke, the tradition of tourists wandering around yet another wing of sculptures, desperate for the bathroom, continues.
Today, it is lauded as a “museum of the world,” housing things of historical importance from many different…
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