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Inside the British Museum

April 11, 2012

In college I studied how the British Museum created there Egyptian collection so, when one of my friends suggested that I go, I thought it might be interesting but it might be repetitive because I knew so much about it. The museum itself is not that big but it has some of the most extraordinary things.

It was founded as an encyclopedia of art and nature 250 years ago. It now contains some of the most important historical pieces. What you have to keep in mind as you walk through the older galleries is that England was one of the most powerful empires in history and, most of the things that are in the museum were taken (by force) from other places. Bluntly said, these are the spoils of war. Not everything but a lot.

The things below are not the best things that they have. They are just things I liked.

Rosetta Stone – Seriously. The actual one.

Rock Crystal Skull

Egyptian faience wig for statue

Giant Scarab beetle sculpture – This was almost 5 feet in length. Below is a side and above view.

Dionysos Sculpture from Parthenon – This is what crazy about the museum. This sculpture (and they have a lot of them) is from an actual historical site that still exists. The story goes that the British museum did not think that Greece was taking care of the Parthenon so they took the sculptures off of it. I don’t know if that is true but its pretty impressive if it is.

In one of the newer exhibits they had a quilt made of two lengths of fabric that contained a lifetime supply of prescribed drugs, illustrating the medical stories of one woman and one man. It was called Cradle to Grave and explored an approach to health in Britain today.

Detail of the quilt.

Another exhibit had sculptures made from decommissioned weapons. It was powerful to see something beautiful be made out of something the damaged so many.

Tree of Life was made by four artists, Kester, Hilario Nhatugueja, Fiel dos Santos and Adelino Serafim Maté from Maputo, Mozambique.

Throne of Weapons was made by Kester. Kester collected the decommissioned weapons used in the throne since the end of the civil war in 1992.

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