British Museum

Founded in 1753, the British Museum was the world's first national public museum.

Located on Great Russell Street in London, the museum's collections are dedicated to human history, art, and culture.

The British Museum is governed by a board of 25 trustees and is a non-departmental public body that is sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.


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Jasper Johns US flag artwork donated to the British Museum

04 November 2020

Jasper Johns’ screenprint 'Flags I' will be on display at the British Museum after the million-dollar artwork was donated to the institution.

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Rare glazed 14th century tiles to be returned to Uzbekistan with help from the British Museum and UK Border Force

13 October 2020

A collection of glazed tiles believed to be 14th century examples from a memorial complex near Samarkand are to be returned to Uzbekistan.

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Rare Sumerian plaque to return to Iraq with help of British Museum

30 September 2020

A 4000-year-old limestone sculpture is to go on temporary display before returning to Iraq.

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British Museum buys collection of 103 Hokusai drawings rediscovered in Paris

05 September 2020

More than 100 rediscovered works by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) have been acquired by the British Museum.

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Archaeological discoveries made by the public reach 1.5 million

09 July 2020

The number of archaeological objects unearthed by the British public since the start of The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) has reached 1.5 million items.

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Fake Mesopotamian antiquities seized at Heathrow airport with help of Border Force officers and the British Museum

05 May 2020

A group of Mesopotamian antiquities destined for collectors in the UK was discovered to be fake and seized in an operation by Border Force and the British Museum.

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British Museum unveils antiquities database but dealers raise concerns

20 April 2020

A project led by the British Museum (BM) to combat the trade in looted antiquities from Egypt and Sudan has launched an online database where objects with ‘provenance issues’ can be brought to the attention of museum specialists and academics.

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Record level of Treasure finds boosted by metal detectorists and a tipper truck

18 March 2020

The number of items deemed to be Treasure and found by the UK public has hit a record high, according to new figures from the British Museum.

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British Museum buys 3000-year-old Bronze age gold pendant

07 March 2020

A well-preserved 3000-year-old Bronze age gold sun pendant, known as a bulla, has been bought by the British Museum after it was found by a metal detectorist in Shropshire in 2018.

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‘Outstanding’ maiolica medicine jar bought by British Museum in tax arrangement with dealer Sam Fogg

28 February 2020

A sixteenth century double-handled maiolica albarello, bought by Mayfair dealer Sam Fogg in 2014, has been acquired by the British Museum.

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Stolen Afghan sculpture to return home after being spotted at UK auction

21 January 2020

An Afghan limestone sculpture believed to have been stolen during the Afghan civil war (1992-94), when Kabul was besieged, surfaced at an auction house in the UK last year.

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News In Brief – including two purchases by the British Museum

13 January 2020

A round-up of art and antiques news from the previous seven days, including British Museum's purchase of an 18th century Indian watercolour miniature and a Saxon seal matrix.

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British Museum buys 18th century Indian watercolour miniature to prevent its export overseas

07 January 2020

An 18th century watercolour miniature by one of India’s greatest painters has been saved for the nation by the British Museum.

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British Museum is third time lucky to buy 1000-year-old seal matrix

23 December 2019

A rare Saxon walrus ivory seal matrix will go back on display in the British Museum – after the institution missed out on buying the object twice before.

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Antiquities stolen from Afghanistan returned with help of British Museum and Met police’s Art and Antiques Unit

12 November 2019

Sculptures of Buddha dating from the 4th-6th centuries smuggled out of Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago have finally been returned to the country’s national museum.

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Dealer sells Gell portrait to British Museum

30 September 2019

London and Petworth dealer Timothy Langston Fine Art & Antiques has sold a portrait of the Regency period antiquarian Sir William Gell (1777-1836) to the British Museum.

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Rare late Anglo-Saxon and early Norman conquest coin hoard discovered in Somerset valued at £4m

29 August 2019

A Bath museum hopes to acquire a rare hoard of coins found in a Chew Valley field that could be valued at £4m.

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Bought for £5 in 1964: 'Lewis Chessmen' piece comes to auction with estimate of up to £1m at Sotheby’s

03 June 2019

Dating from the 12th and early 13th centuries, the Lewis Chessmen collection was rediscovered on Lewis in 1831 and is among the most famous archaeological finds.

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What next for Brexit? While we wait, can you spot the 12 Brexit-related images on this Weeping Willow Brexit plate

12 March 2019

As we approach a crunch vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, a no-deal result is still a possibility – so too the prospect of an extension to the Article 50 process beyond the March 29 deadline.

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They said what!? Philip Mould on the ivory ban and other quotes from the arts and antiques market this week

16 December 2018

This week members of the market reacted to the coming ivory ban, the sale of a Star Wars sketchbook and the rise in finding treasure.

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