The world’s oldest national public museum has over 8 million items spanning the history of the world’s cultures, from the stone tools of early man to 21st-century artworks. The collection was started with the bequest of physician and antiquarian Sir Hans Sloane in 1753. In the 18th and 19th centuries, travelers and emissaries, such as Captain James Cook, Lord Curzon, and Charles Townley, added treasures from around the world. The present building was completed in 1852. The central courtyard is used as ...

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