London has a lot of museums. There are museums of money, animals, time, trains, ships, the River Thames, tea and coffee, art, famous writers, war, buses and trains, aeroplanes, theatre-everything! The Museum of London is a museum about London!
The British Museum was the first museum in the world. In 1753, when Sir Hans Sloane died, the British government bought 80,000 of his books and other things, From 1759, everybody could go and see them in the new museum.
Today, the British Museum has over 4,000,000 things. A visitor can walk about four kilometers through ninety-four rooms. About 1,200 people work in the museum, and every year there are 6,000,000 visitors. What can they see there?
-The Lindow Man is about 2,000 years old. They found him under the ground in the north of England, in 1984. How did he die? Nobody knows.
-The Sutton Hoo treasure is the treasure of an English king of about 600 AD, This treasure tells us about life at that time.
-When people wanted to understand the old language of the Egyptians, the Rosetta Stone helped them.
-One dead cat from Egypt is more then 2,000 years old!
-Stones from the Parthenon, in Athens, came to London in 1801. Many Greek people want to take this art back to Greece.
One of the most famous areas of the British Museum is the Reading Room. At different times, many famous writers and thinkers worked here – Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi, Virginia Woolf and Oscar Wilde. Today, you can go to the Reading Room and learn more about the things in the museum from computers.
Of course, you can see a lot of art in London. One of the most famous museums is the Tate. The first Tate building opened in 1897 with art from the 1500s to 1890.
Henry Tate lived in the 1800s. He was not an artist, but he was a very rich man. He made his money from sugar. Tate loved art, and he really loved British art of that time.
But the old museum building was too small, so now there are two Tates in London. The new Tate museum opened in the year 2,000, by the River Thames. There is art of the 1900s, with work by Picasso, Matisse and Warhol. The old Tate museum is now ‘Tate Britain’.
Some of London’s biggest and best museums are in Kensington. One of these is the Victoria and Albert Museum. It opened in 1852 under a different name. Students could come here and see treasures from different areas of the world. In 1899, after her husband died, Queen Victoria gave this museum its new name. Today, the museum has more than eleven kilometers of rooms. In one room you can see hundreds of dresses from 1600 to today.