Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Arrival in London and The British Museum

We arrived in London on Saturday morning via one of London's five (5!) international airports. After dropping our stuff at our hostel and risking mad cow disease with a hamburger lunch, we were off to the British Museum. The British Museum houses an awesome collection of artifacts from around the world. At right is the Great Court at the British Museum, which is beautiful, though when you visit in real life there are about 500 times as many people.

Among the many artifacts we saw were the Rosetta Stone (among an already fantastic collection of Egyptian artifacts) and the Elgin Marbles (a collection of Greek sculptures, many of which originated on the Parthenon). The Rosetta Stone, you probably remember, features the same passage written in three languages - two Egyptian scripts and Greek. The French discovered it in Egypt in 1799 after Napoleon's conquest the year before and it ended up in British hands shortly after they defeated the French in Alexandria in 1801. It has been on display at the British Museum since 1802. I'll leave the history of the Elgin Marbles to you, but do want to mention that there's a long-time, still-ongoing dispute between Britain and Greece about the Elgin Marbles. (The conclusion is this: the British have them, so that means they're winning.)

1 comment:

Book Lust said...

The ban on exporting British meat to Europe was lifted in 2006 (after a 10 year ban), so you were probably at risk already.

Just stick to fish & chips and you'll be fine.

-Beth