The British museum in London is a famous tourist attraction which has been dedicated to human history and culture. It was established in the year 1753 proving it to be very ancient and it is largely based on the collections of the physician and well known scientist named Sir Hans Sloane. The museum was first opened to the public on 15th January 1759 in Montagu House in Bloomsbury which is on the site of the current museum building. The collection of sculpture and art in this museum is remarkable and the number sums up to more than 8 million works and it falls among the largest and the most comprehensive place in existence. The work displayed in here has been originated from all the continents of the world which includes illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its very beginning times till the present scenario.
The expansion of the museum over the following two and a half centuries was largely due to the expansion of the British Colonial footprint and it ended in the creation of several branch institutions. The famous objects in the collection of this British museum includes the Elgin marbles also known as the Rosetta stones and the Parthenon sculptures.
The Rosetta stone in the museum is kind of a tablet of black rock known as Granodiorite and it is included as a part of the largest inscribed stone that would have stood up to 2 meters of its height. The section of the stone that remains is roughly rectangular in shape and it measures one meter high with 72 centimeters width and almost 30 centimeters from the front till to the back.
The Rosetta stone was discovered in Egypt at Fort St Julien in El-Rashid which is known as Rosetta and was dated from the Ptolemaic period of 196 BC. The stone is one of the most important object in the British museum and holds the importance to understand Egyptian hieroglyphs which is a script made up of small pictures which were used originally in ancient Egypt for religious texts but unfortunately the writing died out in Egypt in the fourth century AD itself. Until the stone was discovered the writing was still a mystery and the knowledge as of how to read the hieroglyphs was lost. The stone kept in the museum is broken down from a bigger stone slab.
Another famous attraction of this museum are the Parthenon Sculptures. The sculptures in London are also known as the Elgin Marbles which have been on permanent public display in the British museum since 1817 and absolutely free of charge. In the museum the sculptures are seen by the world audience and they are even actively studied and even researched to promote the understanding of the Egyptian culture worldwide. Even the museum has published the results of its research extensively all around.
The story of cultural achievement throughout the world from the dawn of human history has been told by the British museum over two million years ago until the present day situations and the Parthenon Sculptures are a significant part of the story. The museum is unique resource for the world. The Parthenon Sculptures are a vital element in this interconnected world collection as they are a part of the world’s shared heritage and transcend political boundaries which has been suggested by the research.
The popular term Elgin marbles is widely used and it refers to the collection of stones objects including sculptures, inscriptions and architectural feature. It was acquired by Lord Elgin during his time as the ambassador to the Ottoman court of the sultan of Istanbul. Specifically it is more refer to as the sculptures, inscriptions and architectural features which were acquired in Athens during 1801 and 1805. Later on they were acquired by the British Parliament from Lord Elgin in 1816 and finally was presented in the British museum as a piece of sculpture for the admiration of the visitors.
The sculptures from the Parthenon which is displayed in the British museum is roughly the half of what was actually received. The sculpture is 247 feet of the original 524 feet of frieze. There exists only 15 out of the 92 metopes, 17 figures from the pediments and various attractive pieces of architecture which was received earlier. The 17 figures from the statuary from the east and west pediments. Elgin’s acquisitions also includes objects from the other buildings.
Frechtheion which is a caryatid described as a column and other architectural members, Propylaia which is again an architectural member and the last one that is the Temple of Athena Nike which consists of four slabs of the frieze and architectural members. It is observed that besides the acquired sculptured from Lord Elgin the British museum also had a collection of sculptures from the Parthenon which includes fragments from the society of Dilettanti and from the Steinhauser, Cockerell, Inwood, Smith-Barry, Colne Park and Chatsworth collections which are not a part of the collection and have lost their connection and significance whereas all the sculptures from the Parthenon in the British museum are always on a permanent display for the visitors. It is a blissful sight to observe the beautiful sculptures and marvelous architecture which have been discovered from the ancient Egyptian times in the British museum. The visitors get an open chance to explore their inner talent of excavating the beauty of the ancient medieval art.