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Wednesday, 3 August 2016


We get the word ‘museum’ from the Ancient Greeks, who built Musaeums, places holy to the goddesses of art and science, the Muses.


Princess Ennigaldi, daughter of the last Neo-Babylonian king Nabonidus, created the world's first museum in around 530 BC. Ennigaldi-Nanna's Museum was a collection of antiquities, located in the state of Ur, located in the modern-day Dhi Qar Governorate of Iraq, roughly 150 metres (490 ft) southeast of the famous Ziggurat of Ur.

Ennigaldi-Nanna's Museum. By M.Lubinski from Iraq,USA. - Flickr, Wikipedia Commons

The Capitoline Museums, the oldest public collection of art in the world, began in 1471 when Pope Sixtus IV donated a group of important ancient sculptures to the people of Rome.

The first museum in Britain open to the public was the Musaeum Tradescantianum known affectionately as The Ark. Opening around 1630, it housed the collection of plants and objects found on the travels of John Tradescant the elder.

The Royal Armouries in the Tower of London opened to the public in 1660, though there had been paying privileged visitors to the armouries displays from 1592.

One of Britain's first public museums, the Ashmolean, was opened by Elias Ashmole in Oxford in 1683. Its first building was erected in 1678–1683 to house the cabinet of curiosities that Elias Ashmole had given to the University of Oxford in 1677. Visitors were charged according to how long they stayed.

Russian czar Peter The Great had a fascination with freaks of nature and established a bizarre private collection known as the museum of curiosities. They included a two-headed child and a five-footed sheep. The caretaker of Peter’s museum was a dwarf who only had two fingers on each hand and two toes on each foot and who knew when he died he’d be stuffed and put on display in the gallery.

The British Museum in London first opened to the public in Montagu House, Bloomsbury on January 15, 1759: Visitors had to apply for tickets 14 days in advance.

1790 ticket By Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) - Wikipedia

The original British Museum collection was 71,000 books, antiquities and natural specimens bequeathed to the nation by Sir Hans Sloane, the inventor of milk chocolate, in 1753.

Today, the British museum contains one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in the world. There are now over eight million objects in its collection.

The Rosetta Stone on display in the British Museum in 1874

The British Museum is now the most popular tourist attraction in the UK. In 2016, it had 6,420,395 visitors.

The first public museum in America was established in Charleston, South Carolina on January 12, 1773. Inspired in part by the creation of the British Museum, the Museum was established by the Charleston Library Society on the eve of the American Revolution.  It first opened to the public in 1824.

When the museum hired Laura Bragg as its director in 1920, she became the first woman to direct a publicly funded art museum in America.

The home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields of architect Sir John Soane (1753-1837), packed with his collection of antiquities and paintings, is now a museum. It was described by the Oxford Dictionary of Architecture as "one of the most complex, intricate, and ingenious series of interiors ever conceived."

The Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world, opened its doors to the public for the first time in 1852.


A number of different museums exist to demonstrate a variety of topics.

There is a dog collar museum at Leeds Castle in Kent, England. Dogs are not allowed entry.

In Glendale, Arizona, the Bead Museum fosters an appreciation and understanding of the global, historical, cultural, and artistic significance of beads and related artifacts dating as far back as 15,000 years

The Parasite Museum in Tokyo exhibits 300 types of parasite, including a 300ft-long tapeworm.

The Museum of Death in Hollywood includes a head severed by the guillotine in France and Liberace's stuffed cat

The Spam Museum at Austin, Minnesota, has 'Spambassadors' giving out Spam cubes on sticks.

The Garbage Museum in Stratford, Connecticut, closed in 2011 after 16 years exhibiting rubbish.

The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi has exhibits from 50 countries.

The Cuckooland Museum is a museum that exhibits mainly cuckoo clocks, located in Tabley, Cheshire, England.

Antique cuckoo clocks exhibited in the museum.By Kirsty Davies - Wikimedia OTRS Photosubmissions, 

There is a Twine Ball Museum in Darwin, Minnesota.

There is a Museum of Bad Art in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Philadelphia is home to the bizarre Mutter Museum. The museum features medical oddities such as a tumor removed from President Grover Cleveland's jaw, slides of Albert Einstein's brain and tissue removed from the vertebra of John Wilkes Booth, President Abraham Lincoln's killer.

The Fan Museum in Greenwich, London contains more than 4,000 ladies’ hand fans.

The Umbrella Covers Museum in Peaks Island, Maine, has more than 1,300 umbrella covers.

The Madison Museum of Bathroom Tissue which opened in Wisconsin USA in 1992, with its 3,000 rolls of toilet paper, closed in 2000.


With over 14 million annual visitors, the Palace Museum in Beijing is the most visited Museum in the world. Housed in the Forbidden City, its extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The Gate of Divine Might, the northern gate. The lower tablet reads "The Palace Museum"By user:kallgan - Wikipedia 

In July 1973, the Victoria and Albert Museum became the first museum in Britain to stage a rock concert. British progressive folk-rock band Gryphon demonstrated the lineage of medieval music and instrumentation and related how those contributed to contemporary music 500 years later.

In 2005, Banksy hung a fake cave painting in the British Museum showing a hunter pushing a supermarket trolley. It was two days before the hoax was discovered and taken down.

Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia, is home to about 70 cats which keep the treasures safe from mice and rats.

The United States has more museums than Starbucks and McDonald's locations combined.

Source Daily Express

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