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In London, the British Museum is not experiencing a crisis

In London, the British Museum is not experiencing a crisis

With nearly six million admissions last year, the most popular British museum is packed. It is also the most visited place in the United Kingdom.


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Visitors admire the Parthenon marbles on display at the British Museum, August 2022.  (NICOLAS ECONOMOU / NURPHOTO)

The British Museum is the most visited site in the United Kingdom, ahead of Stonehenge and Westminster Abbey. The British Museum welcomed more than 5.8 million visitors last year. Although the numbers have not yet reached pre-Covid levels, London's most popular museum is packed. In the not-so-empty aisles, crowds flock to admire the Rosetta Stone, Assyrian reliefs or Egyptian mummies, a journey through two million years of history.

Francis used to visit this museum regularly since childhood. The architect lives in Southampton and spends a few days relaxing with his wife in the capital. Initially they did not plan to visit this museum. “We come here and we are happy. This place is very important to us.”He agrees.

“Every time we go to London, we visit the British Museum. We always see something we've never seen before. It's huge, it's beautiful.”

Francis, a spectator

At franceinfo

Entry to the British Museum is free, only temporary exhibitions require a fee. This is one of the 19th century China.e century, partly explains last year's success. Lucy, a museum worker, never tires of the works or those who come to see them. “People from different backgrounds meet in this museum. There are a lot of profiles: people rushing towards a gallery or a certain statue, people strolling, people on a very specific path. This knowledge, this knowledge, needs to be spread. As widely as possible.She believes.

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In recent months, the British Museum has been plagued by controversy. Especially pitting the United Kingdom against Greece. Athens demands the return of the Parthenon frieze. These statues from Easter Island that Chile wants to recover are the same thing as the two Moaïs. The administration has been criticized by environmental groups for its funding from oil giant BP. She was also singled out for the disappearance of more than a thousand ancient remains, some of which were stolen and sold online.