Your support: success stories

BP is one of the British Museum's longest standing corporate partners, generously supporting the Museum's public programme on an annual basis since 1996. This longstanding partnership has allowed over 4.2 million visitors to view BP-supported British Museum exhibitions, displays and activities in Bloomsbury and further afield.

For 22 years BP has supported numerous special exhibitions as title sponsor, most recently the successful Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia in 2017 and Sunken cities: Egypt’s lost worlds in 2016. Previously they have supported Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation, Ming: 50 years that changed China and Vikings: life and legend.

In addition, BP has supported special public events at the British Museum such as Chinese New Year (2008), the Mexican Day of the Dead (2009), and most recently 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 and 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 2017 over 55,000 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 seven partner museums and galleries between 2009 and 2012, it is the most popular British Museum UK touring exhibition to date, with over 450,000 visitors. The most recent BP-supported UK touring exhibition, Made in China: an imperial Ming vase, went to Glasgow, Sheffield, Bristol and Basingstoke in 2014–2015, and gave over 121,000 people the opportunity to see this priceless piece 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.

The next BP supported exhibition will be the BP exhibition I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria, opening in November 2018

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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