Your support: success stories

BP is one of the British Museum's longest standing corporate partners, generously supporting the British Museum's public programme on an annual basis since 1996. 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the partnership, which has allowed in excess of 3.7 million visitors to view BP supported British Museum exhibitions, displays and activities in Bloomsbury and further afield.

Over the course of 20 years BP has supported numerous special exhibitions as title sponsor, most recently the hugely successful Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation, Ming: 50 years that changed China and Vikings: life and legend. BP is the title sponsor of the Museum’s forthcoming exhibition Sunken cities: Egypt’s lost worlds, which will run from 19 May – 27 November 2016.

In addition, BP has supported special public events at the British Museum such as Chinese New Year (2008) and the Mexican Day of the Dead (2009). The most recent in this series was the Days of the Dead Festival 2015, supported by BP and in association with the Government of Mexico as part of the 2015: Year of Mexico in the UK. This four day event attracted 80,000 visitors between 30 October – 2 November.

In 2000 BP funded the BP Lecture Theatre as part of the Great Court development at the British Museum. This is an invaluable resource for the Museum's education and public programme as well as generating additional revenue through conference hire. In 2015 over 72,000 members of the public were able to attend Museum-run events and activities in the BP Lecture Theatre - allowing school groups, local communities, national and international visitors to engage more deeply with the Museum’s programme and collection.

BP also supports the Museum in its national and international work. China: Journey to the East, supported by BP, was the largest exhibition of ancient Chinese material to be seen outside London. Shown at 7 partner museums and galleries between 2009 – 2012 it has been the most popular British Museum UK touring exhibition to date, with over 450,000 visitors. Made in China: an imperial Ming vase, the most recent BP-supported UK touring exhibition, went to Glasgow, Sheffield, Bristol and Basingstoke in 2014 – 2015 and gave over 121,000 people the opportunity to see this priceless piece in displays across the UK. With its support in 2012 for Mummy: The Inside Story in Mumbai, BP also enabled the British Museum to tour an exhibition to India for the first time. Such activities feed into the Museum’s organisational commitment to share its collection of over 8 million objects with a worldwide audience.

More success stories

Gold Royal Geographical Society medal

Acceptance in Lieu

Medals awarded to Scott of the Antarctic, acquired through the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme.

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Curator talk at the Museum

John Lyon’s Charity

A unique project bringing young people and Museum curators together to explore objects.

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Copper alloy radiate of Carausius, AD 286-293

Kenneth Day

A bequest from the estate of the late Mr Kenneth Day to the Department of Coins and Medals.

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For more information about supporting the Museum, contact  or call +44 (0)20 7323 8933

White ink drawing based upon the architectural design of muqarnas

Maryam and Edward Eisler

Maryam and Edward Eisler provided significant funding to help the Museum expand its Middle East collection.

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Samsung Digital Discovery Centre


A Digital Discovery Centre that enables children to bring world history to life through technology.

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A new building project transforming the way the Museum displays, studies and cares for its collection.

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Silver seal matrix set with a red jasper Roman intaglio showing the emperor Antoninus Pius

Dr John H Rassweiler

Supporting the care, research and public understanding of the museum’s collection of medieval seal matrices.

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Wolfson Foundation

The Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation

Supporting accessible learning programmes at the British Museum

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