London Museums: Art from Around the World

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Martí Micolau

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Visiting the treasures of London without seeing anything, or very little, of the British.

This can very well happen to you if you come on purpose to see the wealthy London museums.

Five steps are necessary to discover the treasures of London's art collections.

First of all there is obviously the British Museum with its new Great Court, the largest covered square court in Europe.

The British Museum was born in the XNUMXth century thanks to donations, acquisitions and the spoils of war.

The halls of this museum are in a way the concentrated image of the greatness of the British Empire.

Here you will find the Rosetta Stone and the friezes of the Parthenon, which the Greeks still claim. We will understand them...

Fortunately the last communist countries do not claim with the same ardor the woods of the reading room where Marx, Lenin and Trotsky forged their vision of the world.

The second stop is no more British than the British Museum…

This is of course the National Gallery: paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Monet, Van Gogh.

To make your way among the 2000 masterpieces of the National Gallery, the Micro Gallery (in the Sainsbury wing) allows you to choose 10 paintings and print your personalized plan.

But your favorite painting may be by a British author. Instead, look for it in the Tate Britain (Pimlico tube station). This will be your paradise if you love Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites.

From one Tate to another. Opened in 2000, the Tate Modern has shaken up the landscape of London museums.

7 floors of a former power station house the world's largest collection of contemporary art.

The Tate Modern alone represents well the architectural revival of London at the turn of the millennium and the rebirth of the South Bank.

But the boldness of the Tate Modern should not make you forget that London is a capital of fashion and, precisely, it has a great museum of fashion and decorative arts: the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Next to Hyde park and Harrods, "Albertopolis" is a complex of five million square meters of galleries. Even the British Museum has competition!

If you had only one thing to see in this labyrinth of galleries, it's the Raphael Gallery: this room preserves six planks sketched by Raphäel for the realization of the tapestries intended for the Sistine chapel.

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