Inside the Great Court at the British Museum

Towards reopening

A message from Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum

The UK’s cultural sector is beginning to emerge from lockdown. We gratefully acknowledge the government’s additional financial support. We have missed our many visitors from around the country and the world at the British Museum and we are excited to welcome you back soon. We’re working hard towards reopening later in the summer.

Remobilising an institution of the British Museum’s scale and complexity is a significant undertaking. The historic London site has developed over centuries to become the iconic, much-loved, but complicated building we see today. The age and nature of the Museum’s infrastructure mean that reopening safely after an unprecedented period of shutdown takes time. First and foremost, we are guided by our commitment to protect the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff.

The vast number, huge variety and, in many cases, the great age and value of the objects in the Museum’s collection require all the skill and expertise of many of our colleagues as they prepare them to meet the public once again.

Upon reopening, the Museum will offer an extraordinary experience in a safe physical environment. We are assessing how we can accommodate the appropriate number of people and manage the flow around some of our most popular artefacts. It will in many ways be a wonderful time to visit the Museum. The galleries will be less busy, allowing a more relaxed opportunity to view areas of the collection.

Edmund de Waal’s library of exile installation will be on display from reopening in Room 2. Our planned major exhibitions Tantra: enlightenment to revolution and the Citi exhibition Arctic: culture and climate will be the first shows to open at the Museum in the autumn.

More details on our reopening will follow soon. In the meantime, please continue to explore the rich and diverse digital programme the British Museum has developed over the last few months or search the collection.

The Museum’s extraordinary collection demonstrates humanity’s ability to endure and innovate even in precarious times. It will continue to inspire us as we embark on this new chapter in the story of the Museum, and of the world.

We can’t wait to welcome you back to the British Museum!

Hartwig Fischer

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Further information

  • Future exhibition plans will be reviewed once the Museum has reopened. Refunds will be offered if exhibitions are cancelled but we would ask visitors to kindly consider their purchase as a donation to the Museum.
  • Please contact for further information on refunds.