I had the misfortune to visit at half term, which is school vacation week for Americans needing translation. Over crowded, noisy, and overwhelming. I really, really wanted to love it - the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Marbles, amazing Egyptian and Babylonian figures, and more. I think that perhaps I need to visit again on a quiet morning; there is a phenomenon known as gallery fatigue, and unfortunately universal museums (which try to have *everything*) seem to bring that out in me. Long queue to go through airport style security, which is understandable with the terrorist attacks that had taken place in town earlier in the year, but they could have been more efficient. Irony - signs posted asking people not to sit on the stairs at the main entrance, and dozens of people sitting on the stairs with no staff doing anything about it (I believe that would be a fire safety violation???). I guess I was disappointed - I've met curators from this institution and was ready to be thrilled. I just don't want to be surrounded by bus tours and scores of antsy children when I'm trying to soak up the art and artifacts. On the plus side, I absolutely adore the glass-covered great court surrounding the reading room. I wish I'd had my big 35mm camera with a fish eye lens to get some cool photos of the space because it was amazing. Of the staff that I did interact with, most seemed overwhelmed and harried that day - again - half term - avoid at all costs.
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