Museum stories
The British Museum podcast: The Suicide Exhibition

The British Museum before 10 May 1941

It wasn’t only people that were evacuated from London during the Second World War. Antiquities and works of art were moved outside of the capital in their thousands. Relocated to stately houses, abandoned tube stations and purpose-built, climate-controlled bunkers – this is the story of how the British Museum pulled off ‘the biggest, mass evacuation of objects in any museum’s history.’

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The British Museum on 11 May 1941

When war broke out in 1939 many of the British Museum’s most valued objects had already been evacuated to safe locations across the UK. However, as war developed, it became apparent not all of these depositories were as safe as originally thought – and the dangers weren’t always caused by enemy forces. Meanwhile, back in London, the Director presented the ‘Suicide Exhibition’…

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Find out more about the British Museum’s activities during the Second World War. Watch the video below to find out how an unused tube tunnel, in an underused and unfinished London underground station, was used to protect thousands of British Museum objects from the Blitz.

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Part 1: Music: Cats on the Beach ‘Flashing Swords’ © Cats on the Beach 2015

Part 2: Music: Lee Rosevere, ‘Tech Toys’ © Lee Rosevere 2016
Chris Zabriskie, ‘The sun is scheduled to come out tomorrow’ © Chris Zabriskie 2016  

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