The British Museum

How can you not like the British Museum?

As far as museums go, I love staring at paintings (thus my permanent affection for the National Galleries in London and DC, the Phillips Collection in DC, and the Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum in Boston).  However, I love going into the British Musuem and looking into a case at some ancient old thing, and thinking about how funny it is that it is now trapped under glass and made into a spectacle.

The reason why (or at least one of many  reasons why) we should find old things so fascinating, mysterious and dare I say, a little spooky is because they are a kind of ghostly voice of the past — long after the organic matter has decayed away, the objects remain, a sort of cosmic I was here message from past civilizations to the current ones.

I’m very spoiled right now, because the British Museum is literally a five minute walk from my flat.  So off I went for a quick poke around two galleries (I almost never have the stamina to spend more than 30 minutes at a time in a museum.  And why not? Since they are close by and free admission?)

It’s hard to miss the Rosetta Stone: it’s the big thing with a billion people lurking about it smack dab through the entrance of the museum.

A dad describes the Rosetta Stone to his child.

I skipped the Elgin Marbles in the Classical World wing and instead checked out some Assyrian wall carvings of a lion hunt.

Then I had to stop by my favorite exhibit — the clock room.  (I really have no idea why I find this room so fascinating, but I love seeing the progression of time pieces through the centuries).




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