About the Museum


Interior View, British Museum
Interior View, British Museum
© The Trustees of the British Museum

Interior View, British Museum

Exterior View, British Museum

Exterior View, British Museum

Interior View, British Museum
© The Trustees of the British Museum

Interior View, British Museum

Interior View, British Museum
© The Trustees of the British Museum

Interior View, British Museum

Interior View, British Museum
© The Trustees of the British Museum

Interior View, British Museum

Founded in 1753, England’s preeminent art institution is a legend and a legacy, with both a storied past and a vibrant present. Visiting the museum is a centuries-old tradition: gaze on treasures that have inspired generations, including the Rosetta Stone, history’s most extraordinary cipher, and such timeless paragons of beauty as the sculptures from the Parthenon frieze. Recent renovations and a new generation of world-class curators have infused new life into the museum's extensive permanent holdings, while its ongoing special exhibitions are among the most ambitious anywhere.

Collection Highlights


A metope sculpture from the Parthenon showing a mythical battle between a Centaur and a Lapith © The Trustees of the British Museum.jpg
A Metope Sculpture
The Sutton Hoo helmet. Tin, iron, copper alloy, silver, gold, garnet. Early Anglo-Saxon, early 7th century. Found in the Sutton Hoo Ship-burial Mound 1, Suffolk, England. © The Trustees of the British Museum.jpg
The Sutton Hoo Helmet
Rosetta stone. © The Trustees of the British Museum.jpg
Rosetta Stone
Bronze Head of Augustus, 27BC-25BC © The Trustees of the British Museum.jpg
Bronze head of Augustus
Lewis Chessmen 1150-1145 © The Trustees of the British Museum.JPG
Lewis Chessmen
British Museum: Collection Highlights
A metope sculpture from the Parthenon showing a mythical battle between a Centaur and a Lapith © The Trustees of the British Museum.jpg
A Metope Sculpture , Classical Greek; 447 - 438 BC
Marble , 52" (H) x 52" (W) x 16" (D)
This metope is from the eastern half of the south side of the temple. The South Metopes in the British Museum show the battle between Centaurs and Lapiths at the marriage feast of Peirithoos.
The Sutton Hoo helmet. Tin, iron, copper alloy, silver, gold, garnet. Early Anglo-Saxon, early 7th century. Found in the Sutton Hoo Ship-burial Mound 1, Suffolk, England. © The Trustees of the British Museum.jpg
The Sutton Hoo Helmet, Early Anglo-Saxon, early 7th century
Plaster and limonite
Made out of limonite and plaster, this mould and cast showcases the pattern on the helmet.
Rosetta stone. © The Trustees of the British Museum.jpg
Rosetta Stone, Ptolemaic; 196 BC
Granodiorite, 48" (L) x 29" (W) x 11" (D)
Part of grey and pink granodiorite, the Rosetta stone (or stella) bares a priestly decree concerning Ptolemy V in three blocks of text: Hieroglyphic (14 lines), Demotic (32 lines) and Greek (54 lines).
Bronze Head of Augustus, 27BC-25BC © The Trustees of the British Museum.jpg
Bronze head of Augustus, Roman period; 27-25 BC
Plaster, glass, calcite, bronze , 18" (H) x 10" (W) x 11" (D)
Bronze head from an over-life-sized statue of Augustus. A very realistic bust the head is broken through the neck, and the eyes are inlaid, with glass pupils set in metal rings, with the irises made of calcite. The emperor's head is turned to his right, with the pronounced twist to the neck typical of Hellenistic work. Finally, the hair falls on the brow in the divided and curving cut that marked most of Augustus's portraits as emperor.
Lewis Chessmen 1150-1145 © The Trustees of the British Museum.JPG
Lewis Chessmen, 1150 - 1175
Walrus ivory and whale's teeth , 3" (H)
These chess pieces form a remarkable group of iconic objects within the world collection of the British Museum. They were probably made in Trondheim, Norway, about AD 1150-1200. At this period, the Western Isles, where the chess pieces were found, were part of the Kingdom of Norway, not Scotland. It seems likely they were buried for safe keeping on route to be traded in Ireland.
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