Sunday, January 10, 2016

London, 2015: The British Museum I

The British Museum was founded in 1753, the first national public museum in the world. 
From the beginning it granted free admission to all 'studious and curious persons'. 
Visitor numbers have grown from around 5,000 a year in the eighteenth century to nearly 6 million today.

The core of today’s building, the four main wings of the British Museum, was designed in the nineteenth century. 
Other important architectural developments include the round Reading Room with its domed ceiling 
and the Norman Foster designed Great Court which opened in 2000.

The external architecture of the Museum was designed to reflect the purpose of the building. 
The monumental South entrance, with its stairs, colonnade and pediment, 
was intended to reflect the wondrous objects housed inside.

The design of the columns has been borrowed from ancient Greek temples, 
and the pediment at the top of the building is a common feature of classical Greek architecture.

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