The British Museum will reopen to visitors on Thursday 27 August 2020, however there will be a number of measures in place to accommodate visitors safely and securely. The Museum will have been closed for 163 days, the longest peacetime closure in its 261-year history.
Visitors will need to pre-book a free ticket, with reduced numbers to ensure physical distancing and a safe and welcoming environment.
A new one-way route round the Ground Floor galleries will allow visitors access to many thousands of objects from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Assyria, before exploring Africa, Mexico, North America and the Enlightenment Gallery. More galleries will reopen later in September.
The Museum is taking this phased approach to reopening to be sure they can accommodate visitors safely and securely. They will be keeping safety measures under review and adjust them as they learn how they work in practice and as Government guidance evolves. They plan to
reopen some of the upper floor galleries from Monday 21st September.
New dates are today confirmed for the Museum’s postponed spring exhibitions Tantra: enlightenment to revolution and The Citi exhibition Arctic: culture and climate. Tantra will open from 24 September 2020 (closing 24 January 2021) and Arctic on 22 October 2020 (closing 21 February 2021). Both exhibitions will have extended runs to ensure more people can see them whilst following social distancing guidelines.
The display of Edmund de Waal’s library of exile in Room 2 will be also open giving visitors a chance to see this thoughtful and reflective work before the books it includes are donated to the world-renowned library of the University of Mosul in Iraq which is being rebuilt after it suffered extensive damage under Daesh.
British Museum Trustee and Turner Prize-winning artist, Grayson Perry, has agreed to lend his work, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, originally created for his British Museum exhibition of the same name in 2011. The Tomb is an elaborate, richly decorated cast-iron coffin-ship , a vessel weighted with the freight of Perry’s imagination and an eloquent testament to the countless unnamed skilled individuals – men and women – who have made the beautiful wonders of history found in the British Museum today. It will be displayed in Room 17, next to the Nereid Monument from western Turkey, built around 390BC.
Tickets will be available to book online or over the phone from 10am on Wednesday 12th August (www.britishmuseum.org, or 020 7323 8181). The Museum will open 10am – 3pm on the 27th and 28th of August, moving to 10am – 5pm from Saturday 29th August.
For more information, visit the British Museum website here
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