British Museum

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Historic building in Camden. The British Museum is dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection, numbering some thirteen million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It is housed in a building, 1823-47, by Sir Robert Smirke. Portland stone. Planned as a big quadrangle with open courtyard extending north from Montague House (the original museum, demolished c1840). 2 main storeys in Greek Revival style. The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court is a covered square at the centre of the British Museum designed by the engineers Buro Happold and the architects Foster and Partners. The Great Court opened in December 2000 and is the largest covered square in Europe. The roof is a glass and steel construction, built by an Austrian steelwork company, with 1,656 uniquely shaped panes of glass. At the centre of the Great Court is the Reading Room vacated by the British Library, its functions now moved to St Pancras. The Reading Room is open to any member of the public who wishes to read there.

Camden, The British Museum

Camden, The British Museum

Camden, British Museum, Great Court

Camden, British Museum, Great Court

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