The British Museum

Central Courtyard at the British Museum

Monday morning we awoke quite early.  We enjoyed a delicious English breakfast, though dear God there are mushrooms available for all meals here, and made our way to the British Museum before it opened.  We hoped to avoid the stampede of people coming to snap pictures of the Rosetta Stone, but it was not to be.  We did avail ourselves of the quiet time before the museum fully opened to admire its central courtyard.

There are simpler an astounding number of treasures in that museum.  Many people have mentioned to me the grandeur of the British Museum, nearly always with the punctuation of terms like "pillage" or "theft" or the sardonic "borrowed."  Be that as it may, in a very real sense the British hold these items in a kind of forced trust, many of these artifacts only exist today because they were removed from their homelands.  One need only look at what is happening in Timbuktu today to see what might have become of them.  That the museum is free to all (donations accepted) underscores the point.

Words simply will not do to describe the myriad wonders to be found at the BM.  Only a patient, careful first-hand consideration of the many ancient (or just very old) treasures would do, but here are some pictures that will have to suffice for our purposes.  Since we only have so much space here, our theme will be "The Faces of the British Museum."


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