"I can't believe that you've been living in London for over two years and you've never been to The British Museum! You have to go, Saba!", my friend told me last week (in a very convincing tone of voice) and frankly I felt that I was really missing out on something incredible, big time. So on Friday I finally decided to visit The British Museum; feeling super excited like a kid visiting the M&M's world for the first time! When I entered the building, I was amazed by the magnificent architecture of the The Great Court and I just couldn't stop taking pictures. It was just so bright, airy and I could feel a great vibe in the atmosphere (and I was not annoyed by some slow walking tourists for the first time ever). I managed to briefly "skim" through some of the exhibition rooms but there was just so much to take in. I'll definitely need a few more visits to really engross myself in the bigger experience. Here's a few photos of The British Museum and The Hunterian Museum...
^^ The Great Court was restored and augmented by Norman Foster in 2000 and has a spectacular glass and steel roof, making it one of the most impressive architectural spaces in London. ^^
^^ The magnificent collections of clocks and watches is one of my favourite galleries. The gallery tells the story of timekeeping in a broad chronology, examining the changing technology of clocks and watches, their impact upon our society and how they became demonstrations of wealth and status prior to to the development of the mass market in the 20th century. ^^
^^ Man's Cloth (recycled metal foil bottle-neck wrappers and copper wire) by El Anatsui; the traditional narrow-strip woven silk kente cloth of Ghana is a source of pride and a receptacle of cultural memories. It is a leitmotif that runs through much of El Anatsui's work. He uses it to pursue the themes of memory and loss, especially the erosion of cultural values through unchecked consumerism, here symbolised by the bottle-neck wrappers. ^^
^^ This fine head of Napoleon (right) by the great Italian sculptor, Antonio Canova, was put up in the garden of Holland House in Kensington in 1818. ^^
^^ A luohan is a Buddhist saint or wise man who has attained nirvana - the end of rebirth and suffering in this world. This sculpture belongs to a set of eight luohans from a group of caves to the west of Yixian, south of Beijing. Though individual in character, this figure is not an actual portrait but represents a spiritual ideal to which all mankind might aspire. ^^
^^ With her right hand, the bodhisattva makes the gesture of charity or gift giving, while her left hand may originally have held a lotus. This sculpture was found on the east coast of Sri Lanka and is evidence of the presence of Mahayana Buddhism in the Anuradhapura Period of Sri Lanka. ^^
^^After The British Museum, I strolled down to The Royal College of Surgeons of England, Hunterian Museum which is located on the south side of Lincoln's Inn Fields. I absolutely loved it and not to mention, I was definitely a great example of a visitor with mouth agape! If you want to know more about the Hunterian Collection click here. ^^
Sometimes I just forget that how much London has to offer; countless museums, art galleries, theatres and much more entertainment. I'm lucky to work with some adventurous people who always recommend great places to explore; The Hunterian Museum was one of those "unknown" places that really was worth a visit.