“Museums enable people to explore collections for inspiration, learning and enjoyment. There are institutions that collect, safeguard and make accessible artifacts and specimens, which they hold in trust for society.” Museums Association
While museums act as repositories of artifacts for the historical benefit of the keen and willing, it takes away much importance and significance for the which the pieces/art/works were originally made.
It is my intention to visit 5 museums, explore the pieces within them and document with keen interest, their content .
THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
The British Museum is a museum in London dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present.[a
The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. The museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759 in Montagu House in Bloomsbury, on the site of the current museum building. Its expansion over the following two and a half centuries was largely a result of an expanding British colonial footprint and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the British Museum (Natural History) in South Kensington in 1881. Some objects in the collection, most notably the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, are the objects of controversy and of calls for restitution to their countries of origin.
Until 1997, when the British Library (previously centered on the Round Reading Room) moved to a new site, the British Museum housed both a national museum of antiquities and a national library in the same building. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and as with all other national museums in the United Kingdom it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions. Since 2002 the director of the museum has been Neil MacGregor.
Upon viewing the brass plaques, its evident to see that the Benin empire was opulent, culturally rich and traditionally vibrant, and these works were a celebration of such. The brass plaques also lays emphasis on the exposes to the military might of the the Benin empire, symbolic connotations as depicted in the use of animals like the mud fish and the leopard and also the presence of foreigners, mainly the Portuguese, with whom they shared good trade and diplomatic relations.