11 June 2024

Known as BM ARC, the site in Berkshire houses around 1.3 million objects from the London museum and is intended for scholars as well as members of the public.
By Gareth Harris

The British Museum is opening a new £64m storage and research facility in Berkshire on 7 June, designed to house around 1.3 million objects and to serve both scholars and, starting in the autumn, the general public.
Located 44 miles west of London, the new facility is designed by the UK practice John McAslan + Partners and will be run in partnership with the University of Reading. It is part of the first phase of the museum's "masterplan", which it describes as "one of the most significant cultural redevelopment projects ever undertaken".
The new facility will increase public accessibility to some of the nation's "most important historical objects" including ancient sculptures, mosaics and historic casts, the museum says. "It offers a radically different approach to museum storage by also facilitating research and study by academics and members of the public alike," a British Museum statement says.
The opening comes at a time when the British Museum could use some good news, after a recent thefts scandal in which as many 2,000 objects are thought to have been removed from the collection. In March, the museum launched legal proceedings against one of its former curators, Peter Higgs.

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image: Hufton + Crow
The 15,628 sq.m facility, designed by the British practice John McAslan + Partners, is located 44 miles west of London and run in partnership with the University of Reading.