Biblical Archaeology Review 27:5, September/October 2001


By Kathleen Ritmeyer

Biblical Archaeology Review

The Rebirth of the British Museum

If you have never visited the British Museum, now is the time to go. Even if you have already visited it, go again, and again and again. Better still, customize your tour on the Internet in advance (see below for information), so you can see what you want without being overwhelmed by the sheer volume and richness of the collections.

Start with the reopened Great Court, at the core of the museum. Originally an outdoor courtyard, the Great Court now is crowned with a vast hanging curved glass roof that nevertheless has a soaring beauty that will take your breath away. The museum’s collections still form the same treasure-house that has made it a must-see for visitors to London for almost 250 years.

Blending the Old and New

Even if it is a longer walk from where you parked, try to enter the museum through the main Great Russell Street entrance so you don’t miss the stately neo-Grecian facade, designed (as was the entire building) in 1823 by Sir Robert Smirke. The gracious proportions of this grand entryway still impress, even with its accumulation of London grime.

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