Family activities at the British Museum

Family activities at the British Museum... My favourite object at the British Museum is a bronze statue known as the Gayer-Anderson cat. I decide this as I read its description when I visit the London museum with my teenage daughter and Sergio, her Spanish exchange student. Apparently this cat, a beautiful, ancient artefact which is now carefully lit in a glass case in one of the leading museums in the world, was owned by a Major Gayer-Anderson in the 1930s. Using x-ray fluorescence, scientists have discovered that the Major repaired a large crack in the cat’s body and wedged a metal cylinder inside its head. I’m not sure how the cat was damaged but it could have been a jive and swing related accident. Possibly. Anyway, once repaired, the cat was covered with green paint, cunningly disguising what had happened to it until the x-rays revealed all in 2007. I love this story. London’s British Museum was the first national museum in the world and was opened to the public in 1759. Entry was free, as it is for the six million or so annual visitors today. The museum houses a vast collection of artefacts (more than eight million) from human history and culture.

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