"in the British Museum"
The British Museum
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe British Museum - Credit: Steff

The British Museum was created by an Act of Parliament in 1753 after the death of the avid collector Sir Hans Sloane, who bequeathed to the country his collection of over seventy thousand artefacts, books, manuscripts and natural specimens.

The Museum first opened in 1759 in Montagu House, on the same site as the present building, which was built in 1857. At this time the museum's collection of natural specimens was moved to a building in South Kensington to form the Natural History Museum, and the British Museum began to specialise in historical antiquities, becoming involved in archaeological excavations across the world.

Highlights in the British Museum's vast collections include the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Sculptures (also known as the Elgin Marbles), the Tomb-chapel of Nebamun, the Lewis Chessmen and a number of well-preserved Egyptian mummies.