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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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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Metal-detecting trend boosts ‘treasure’ discoveries as numbers hit a record for second year running

13 December 2018

Bronze Age golden jewellery and a Roman goddess kept in a margarine tub are among the discoveries dug up across the UK.

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Ancient antiquities seized from dealer returned to Iraq after British Museum research

10 August 2018

Eight Sumerian antiquities seized by the Metropolitan Police from a London dealer in 2003 are to be returned to Iraq after identification by the British Museum.

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British Museum accepts 550-piece collection of ivory works of art ahead of UK trade ban

28 June 2018

A vast collection of ivories from The Sir Victor Sassoon Chinese Ivories Trust will be going on display at the British Museum after it acquired the collection earlier this year.

British Museum

British Museum launches Egyptian antiquities database to track looted artefacts

04 May 2018

A database of Egyptian and Nubian antiquities has been launched by the British Museum after it was awarded a government grant of nearly £1m.

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