British Museum

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British Museum

Mary Beard wades into restitution debate in her first blog post as a new British Museum trustee

"Museums have always been controversial. Who should be allowed in? And on what terms?" asks the celebrated classicist

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coronavirus

More than 40 UK museums and conservators donate personal protective equipment to help NHS fight coronavirus

Conservation departments are sending gloves, masks and Tyvek suits to hospitals and ambulance services

News
Art's Most Popular 2020

Manga beats Rembrandt and Captain Cook to be named the British Museum’s most popular show last year

The exhibition on the global phenomenon was the largest ever to be staged outside Japan

News
Exhibitions

From Modernist nudes to present-day politics: British Museum to reveal its contemporary Middle Eastern art collection

Free exhibition at the London museum in October will show around 150 works that have been collected since the early 1990s

News
Vincent Van Gogh

British Museum shows its only Van Gogh portrait for the first time

The etched portrait of Dr Gachet, who tended to the artist after he shot himself, was donated by the doctor's son

Review
Exhibitions

Three exhibitions to see in London this weekend

From Alina Szapocznikow's haunting sculptures to Shirin Neshat's first London show in 20 years

Podcast

Who owns the Parthenon Marbles?

Plus, Shirin Neshat on Trump’s America. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793

News
Sponsorship

Climate activists take over British Museum in all-night protest against BP sponsorship

Organisers of the three-day action, the group BP or not BP?, called it the "largest protest in the history of the museum"

News
Loot

Looted ancient temple sculpture—seized by UK police—will go home to Afghanistan

British Museum and Art Loss Register collaborate over recovery of ancient bull decoration that was consigned to an online auction

News
British Museum

British Museum exhibition to challenge 'salacious stereotypes' around Tantra

Major show will unpick ancient Indian philosophy made famous by Sting’s “eight-hour lovemaking session” claims

Review
British Museum

The Big Review: Troy at the British Museum

With an impressive range of objects, this show evokes the eternal power of the greatest stories ever told

News
British Museum

Climate activists urge British Museum to reject BP funding, as Arctic exhibition announced

Planned show seeks to raise awareness of climate change, but London museum dogged by controversy over partnership with oil and gas giant

Preview
The Year Ahead 2020

The biggest exhibitions around the world in 2020

From Artemisia to Abramović, Old Masters to Olmecs, and Richter to Roman antiquities—here are next year's must-see shows

Podcast

Troy: the show and the problem with BP sponsorship

We talk about the myth and reality of Troy presented in the British Museum's show and to an activist about ongoing protests relating to fossil-fuel companies' sponsorship of the arts. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793.

News
Sponsorship

Protestors disrupt VIP preview of British Museum's Troy exhibition

Members of the climate activist group BP or not BP? blocked entry to the museum's show dressed as statues based on Greek mythology

Preview
Exhibitions

Troy meets world: London show reconciles myth and reality of ancient city

British Museum exhibition will display work inspired by epic stories alongside artefacts from 19th-century archaeological excavations

News
Exhibitions

British Museum to borrow the Nebra Sky Disc, the oldest portrayal of the cosmos

The artefact will be the focus of a joint exhibition with the Halle Museum of Prehistory

News
Museums & Heritage

British Museum knocks Tate Modern off top spot as UK's most popular attraction after miscalculation

Over 300,000 visitors had been missed in the financial year 2018/19 because of 'incorrect light levels caused by a broken light fitting'

News
Museums & Heritage

Lack of space at the British Museum sees major loan of Assyrian collection to Getty

Since the closure of a basement gallery in 2006 there is little room to store the whole collection

Archive
Antiquities & Archaeology

Cloistered Nimrud treasures to be discussed by Iraqi scholars at delayed British Museum conference

Few have seen the Nimrud gold, a cache of eighth-century BC Assyrian royal gold

News
Ethics

How ethical can museums afford to be? We ask five major UK art institutions about funding challenges

We find out how mounting public scrutiny of private money could affect the bottom line of London's National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Gallery and the Tate

News
Loans

Greece in talks with Louvre to borrow Parthenon frieze as part of 'temporary exchange'

Move reignites debate over British Museum’s position on sculptures brought to Britain by Lord Elgin

News
British Museum

British Museum to display hundreds of thousands of archived artefacts in new storage facility

BM Arc will provide the institution with 15,628 sq.m to show its objects in greater context and increase public access

Archive
Parthenon

William St Clair makes a rebuttal to the British Museum's defence of its competence to curate Parthenon Marbles

St Clair demands greater candour in the fallout of Lord Elgin and the Marble's third edition, in which it was asserted that over-cleaning had irreparably damaged the marbles

News
Restitution

Growing pressure on the British Museum as Jamaica is latest government seeking return of objects

Spokeswoman for the London museum says it has not been officially approached by the country over the return of the two objects made by the Taíno people in its collection

News
Appointments & departures

In damning online critique of British Museum's ethics, trustee Ahdaf Soueif announces resignation

Prominent Egyptian-born writer cites the institution's BP sponsorship, treatment of workers and its silence over restitution as key issues

News
British Museum

British Museum director endorses controversial sponsor BP as part of future vision

Oil company will support one exhibition at the museum next year, but not a show dedicated to the people of the Arctic

News
War & Conflict

Art in the time of airstrikes: Yemeni artists urge international donors for support

Symposium at the British Museum, part of the Shubbak festival of contemporary Arab culture, will include artists from war-torn Yemen and Syria

Review
Exhibitions

This carefully selected exhibition of the Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo is small and perfectly formed

The MA curatorial show at the Barber Institute, Birmingham, challenges many of our assumptions

News
Troy

British Museum to finally display treasures of Troy in major exhibition—after failing to buy them 150 years ago

The Trojan antiquities went to Berlin after the London museum rejected an offer to acquire them

Comment
Restitution

British Museum must recognise its own powers in matters of restitution

Case of Ethiopian tabots shows that trustees' hands are not tied when it comes to the disposal of certain items from the collection

Podcast

Manga and Camp: the art of going over the top

We talk about Manga, the subject of the British Museum's huge new show, and we explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition Camp: Notes on Fashion. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793.

News
Restitution

British Museum considers loan of ‘invisible’ objects back to Ethiopia

Country has requested return of 11 tabots held in sealed storeroom that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church believes should only be viewed by its priests

News
Edmund de Waal

Edmund de Waal’s 2,000-book installation of exiled writers will tour to the British Museum

Ceramicist’s installation The library of exile, currently on show in Venice, will also travel to the Japanisches Palais in Dresden

Feature
Podcast

From Despair to The Scream: the genesis of Edvard Munch’s most famous work

On our podcast, the curator of the British Museum’s Munch exhibition tells the story of the Norwegian artist’s anxiety at the blood-red sky he saw above the Oslo fjord, and how it led to a masterpiece

News
Three to see

Three exhibitions to see in London this weekend

From Munch's angst-ridden prints at the British Museum to Van Gogh's love affair with the UK at Tate Britain

Podcast

What inspired Munch's Scream? Plus, the Shed

We talk to Giulia Bartram at the British Museum about her exhibition of Munch’s prints. And we look at the new shapeshifting cultural centre in New York, The Shed. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793.

Preview
Exhibitions

There is more to Edvard Munch than just The Scream

A British Museum exhibition explores the personal philosophy behind the Norwegian artist’s work, as well as his printmaking techniques

News
Sponsorship

Why is the British Museum still accepting tobacco sponsorship?

London institution has acquired 600 objects thanks to funding from Japan Tobacco International, makers of Benson & Hedges, Winston, Camel and Silk Cut

Analysis
Art's Most Popular 2019

Art's Most Popular: here are 2018's most visited shows and museums

Fashion continues upward trend in the US, shooting to the top of The Art Newspaper's chart, while the British Museum slips from the top spot in the UK

Comment
Leaders

What’s in a title? It’s time to reframe the Parthenon Marbles debate

The British Museum's ownership of the statues is only guaranteed within the UK—things get more complicated on an international level

Review
Book Shorts

Postcards as art and the art of the postcard

Book looks at British Museum’s contemporary artists' postcards from 1960 to the present

Podcast

Rembrandt special: the complete artist

As shows marking the 350th anniversary of the Old Master's death open, we look at his masterpieces at the Rijksmuseum, Dulwich Picture Gallery and the British Museum. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793.

News
Protest

Demonstrators take over British Museum in biggest-ever protest against oil sponsorships

Event, organised by grassroots climate justice group BP or not BP?, highlighted relationship between oil companies and war in Iraq

News
Restitution

Nigeria calls for return of Lander Stool from the British Museum

Woodcarving was taken from the African country in 1830 by the UK explorer Richard Lander

News
Banksy

Kerching! Banksy-note enters British Museum

Di-faced Tenner is artist’s first work to join the collection officially—unlike his 2005 cave painting prank

News
Ancient Egypt

British Museum teams up with Louvre for revamp of Egyptian Museum in Cairo

But the disputed treasure, the Rosetta Stone, will remain in London

News
British Museum

Looted ‘cannibal’ bowl will not travel to Quai Branly in Paris for Oceania exhibition

Royal Academy says conservation issues—not restitution fears—mean the ceremonial feast trough can not be loaned

News
Edvard Munch

British Museum to stage major show of Munch prints

Exhibition in London will be largest in 50 years

News
British Museum

British Museum realises 'vase' is in fact an ancient mace-head displayed upside down

Curators discovered old mistake during research for No Man's Land exhibition

Comment
Restitution

Should we relinquish our insistence on privileging original works of art?

Technological wizardry in replication is improving, alongside claims to relocate far-flung treasures

News
London

How the UK has revived its Monuments Men

The CPPU consists of a solitary lieutenant-colonel, but he is recruiting

News
Three to see

Three exhibitions to see in London this weekend

From the treasures of an Assyrian king at the British Museum to Lorenzo Lotto’s insightful portraits at the National Gallery

Preview
Exhibitions

Assyrian warrior king Ashurbanipal rides into London with treasures in tow

Exhibition at the British Museum includes carved ivories and a recreation of his huge library of cuneiform tablets

Review
British Museum

British Museum’s Islamic art finally gets its fairy-tale ending

Restored Victorian galleries, funded by Albukhary Foundation and featuring screens by Ahmad Angawi, have transformed the presentation of the collection

News
Podcast

Dull, dim and dusty no more: British Museum's new Islamic galleries bring collection out of the shadows

Light and spacious Albukhary Foundation Gallery is a huge transformation for the London institution, says Jane Jakeman

Podcast

Bruce Nauman’s New York takeover. Plus, the British Museum dusts down its Islamic art galleries

We talk to the curator Kathy Halbreich about the giant two-part Bruce Nauman retrospective at MoMA and MoMA PS1. Plus, the specialist in Islamic studies Jane Jakeman reviews the new Islamic displays at London’s British Museum. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793.

News
Discoveries

Painting of courtesan by Kitagawa Utamaro—who influenced the Impressionists—goes on show for first time

Hanging scroll by the shunga master will be displayed in the British Museum’s revamped Japanese galleries

News

From armour to the A-bomb: British Museum's Japanese collection goes back on show

Japan galleries refurbished under new ten-year partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation

News

British Museum’s basement of treasures to remain off-limits

Hidden underground galleries closed since 2006 still house £100m Assyrian relief

News
Three to see

Three to see: London

Michael Jackson is a thrilling muse at the National Portrait Gallery, while ancient Egypt is given a modern twist at the British Museum

News
Ivory

British Museum accepts collection of 500-plus ivory works—ahead of tough new UK regulations to protect elephants

Donation from the Sir Victor Sassoon Chinese Ivories Trust was not accepted by the museum when it was first offered in the 1950s

News

British Museum rekindles relationship with Zayed National Museum after loan deal ended last year

Under new partnership, the London museum will lend key objects to the new institution in Abu Dhabi

News
Exhibitions

British Museum show focuses on Assyrian antiquities targeted by Islamic State

Loans likely to come from Iran—but works from the Met would not meet London museum's strict borrowing guidelines

Blog
The Buck stopped here

Laughing on the Edge

News
Conservation & Preservation

British Museum positions itself as a European expert on Korean art with major conservation project

It is the first Western institution to launch a long-term project to study and conserve pictorial art from the country

News
Exhibitions

From Cleopatra to Banksy: satirist Ian Hislop to co-organise British Museum show on subversion

Private Eye editor will select 100 objects highlighting dissent down the ages

News
Looting

Scotland Yard joins global crackdown on looted pharaonic antiquities

The initiative, which involves governments and the art world, will set up a public database of objects

News
Three to see

Three to see: London

Rodin takes on the Parthenon sculptures at the British Museum while James Cook sets sail for the British Library

Preview
Exhibitions

Rodin’s debt to Parthenon sculptures explored in British Museum exhibition

Eighty marble, bronze and plaster works by French artist are put in dialogue with ancient Greek art