A few months ago I went to London with Laura and my best friend. Laura posted about it here. Ever since I was in Year Six studying Ancient Egypt, I’ve loved the British Museum. I had visited it back when they had the Rosetta Stone exhibit and it felt like a magical moment. Imagine meeting a famous person you’ve heard all about. Yes, it felt like that. But I was young when I visited The British Museum and didn’t truly appreciate it. Now I’m older, it’s far more enjoyable!
Here are my reasons why I think everyone should experience the British Museum if they have the chance.
IT’S FREE FOR ALL
Growing up in a low-income household, trips were often hard to enjoy. Everywhere we went had to be free or extremely cheap. We were lucky if we could get enough petrol money to go to London. But once you’re there you realise very little is free… Luckily for us poor folk, most museums in London are completely free! They get by on their expensive shops and donations. This means that everyone can enjoy the hub of learning, even if you can’t buy a souvenir or lunch there.
Of course, it’s not like Laura’s beautiful jet-setting adventures but you learn so much more for so much less.
HISTORY OF THE BUILDING
It’s not just the exhibits that drip history. The museum itself is older than the USA. In 1753, the museum was founded and then opened up to the public in 1759. That’s pretty darn old, huh?
The building we know and love today was built 1823-1857, making it over one hundred and fifty-nine years old! Let’s just say, whether you like old buildings or old establishments, this beautiful place has both. Not to mention that its architecture is stunning and based on the ancient Greek civilisations. It’s certainly a style befitting the exhibits inside.
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WHAT’S AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM
There’s so much to see with a collection gathered for over two hundred and fifty years. Though I and Laura are both in agreement that ancient artifacts belong to their countries, it is interesting to learn about different countries for practically free.
We don’t have to go to Egypt, Greece or Rome to learn about cultures. Lower income families can enjoy immersion into cultures they would never afford to go to the country of. If you’re a parent, it’s the best thing to do for your child. Let them learn. Let their minds go wild. Just… don’t let them touch the exhibits.
The main attraction – busiest too – is the Egyptology area. With the mummified remains, treasures from the tombs and colossal chunks of the tombs themselves, you can both learn and experience the ancient culture for yourself.
My personal favourite areas are the Ancient Greco-Roman ones. With statues of ancient gods and pieces of temples, you can truly enjoy learning about the gods who seem so distant from you. Yes, there are bits and pieces missing from the statues and they’ve been ‘whitewashed’ by previous owners but wouldn’t you look a little different if you were over a few hundred years old? I say, Apollo looks great for a man who survived hundreds of wars and is only missing an arm and his giblets.
HUB OF LEARNING
As a museum, you expect to learn. It’s a given. You can always buy a book about the exhibits and each culture as you walk around. If you don’t have that much money to throw about, you might instead just read the detailed plaques and leaflets on each exhibit.
There are even free special exhibitions where you are guided through the ancient civilisations by a professional. As I write this, there are six free exhibitions and displays and three you can pay for. Of course, if you want the more popular options you’re going to have hand over money. How else are they going to run a free museum and keep it clean and interesting?
THE BACKDROP OF MANY FILMS
My personal guilty pleasures is Night at the Museum one and three. I can’t help it. But of course, I’m talking about the British Museum which was the home of the third film. This film made the museum come alive and urged children to go see the wonderful exhibits as they imagined that they all had a life dying to party every night.
If you are a fan of BBC’s Sherlock and many of the BBC’s other shows, you might like to visit for that purpose. Of course, you’ll probably not see any heart racing chases or unravel any crimes while there but at least you’ll be able to say you were there. You stood where Benedict Cabbagepatch did.
Where do you love to go for free when on a day out? What museums have you fallen in love with and would probably go time and again? Did the British Museum enchant you the same way it has me?
If you haven’t been sold on the British Museum by now, why not have a look at their site here?