This large building includes a combination of Grecian style architecture (the entrance plaza) and an indoor courtyard with a glass dome, which is by far the largest in Europe.
More than 5 million visitors arrive each year to the museum. Initially it was designed for a more general display and not primarily antiques. Approximately 40,000 books, texts, stuffed animals, fossils, engravings and antiques were found in the first collection donated to the museum by Sloan. Over the years, the museum served as a showroom, mainly for archeological and cultural exhibits. The museum's exhibits are divided into complexes, each relating to a different continent - from Africa and Asia to South America and Australia.
Entrance to permanent exhibitions in the museum is free. This is because there is an ongoing debate today over the ownership of the items displayed at the museum. Many items date back to the expansion of the British Empire and therefore the Museum's right to hold them was not agreed upon. On there behalf, the British claim that the items will be kept in in good condition and anyone will be allowed to come and enjoy them. In addition, British law does not allow the return of the exhibits. The Egyptian and Greek antiquities collection, for example, is one of the largest in the world. It also contains remains from the Parthenon in Athens. Therefore, some governments, like Greece and Nigeria are still fighting for the right to receive the remains for display in their respective museums.
was very simple: to allow citizens to discover the whole world in one building. This is one of the few buildings in the world that really makes it possible to learn and think about the whole world under one roof!
In 1750, the museum was actually a library of Gentleman's House, where visitors were able to draw, print and read the about the world. At the entrance, a visitor would receive a ticket from the library, that was also an entrance ticket to the museum. This way, a visitor would receive invitations to view the various collections presented at the museum. The idea of showing these collections to the commoners whenever they pleased was truly revolutionary at the time.
The new idea of allowing commoners to enter and behold collections in 1815, after Napoleon’s time, was truly a game-changer. The original building was replaced by the new building you see today. The museum is open to everyone today and all the collections are exhibited there. By the way, children were not allowed to enter the museum at all. This was due to the damage they caused to the stuffed animals when they got excited. The children returned to the museum as soon as the stuffed animals were transferred to the Natural History Museum. Today, by the way, children also visit there and do not inflict any real damage ...
A big change occurred in 1851. That same year, a fine exhibition was presented at the museum, and for the first time, a large number of tourists, lovers of art and culture, arrived. It was a huge success for museum in London, which became particularly popular. To this day there is an unimaginable amount of people in line, waiting to see the items in the museum, which are increasing continually in number.
The building you know is well suited to the large number of visitors who come here, but museum directors continue to devise new ways to give visitors better access to the collections available. Therefor the building has indeed undergone all sorts of changes over the years.
The visitors, then, do not come to the museum only to view the items of any given collection. They especially enjoy having lunch on the broad steps. In recent years, museum directors have been thinking about how to rethink the museum building in order to continue to achieve its original goal.
The large, modern courtyard, named after Queen Elizabeth II, was designed by Foster & Co. Architects. The courtyard was first opened to the public in 2000 and is the largest indoor courtyard in Europe. The magnificent ceiling of this courtyard is made up of no less than 3,000 transparent panels that form the harmonious and wondrous shape of the building. The waves, incidentally, are not symmetrical and the size of the panels is uneven. Also note the amount of light in the indoor yard - it is not as bright as the natural light outside – there is special material wrapping the panels, allowing only part of the light to sift through which created a special atmosphere and lighting inside.