I hate it. I know that makes NO SENSE to non-museum people, because it is commonly considered the Best Museum in the World by most people. But I have spent the last 4 years of my life (and we'll not count the number of years before that, shall we?) analysing museums; what works, what doesn't, etc. And the British Museum doesn't work.
The best evidence I can come up with for this is that I love museums. I love them so much I am trying like crazy and putting myself head over heels in debt in order to have a career in one, maybe, one day, if I'm lucky. Every time I travel somewhere I visit museums, no matter what the purpose of the trip.
And I hate the British Museum.
So after that little philosophical ramble, let's move on. It was a long day. We were only there for 5 hours and it felt like 10. I just sort of wandered around aimlessly and got annoyed at all the tourists and school groups that were crowding hallways and galleries. I poked (not literally) at a few statues and then spent an hour walking around the Enlightenment room, because it's the only new thing the BM has done in about 150 years (yes, I'm exaggerating; the point is that I'm not exaggerating much). It's an "interesting" exhibit. I'm not sure it quite worked the way the curator wanted it to (and I listened to her talk about it for 30 minutes during the tour I stole in on). I think it works for non-museum/history people, but I just identified all the thinks that didn't jive at all well. It just looked like a rather large mish-mash of forcing things into some sort of theme, according to the curator's view. Interspersed with a library. Now, it's the enlightenment period, so books are a big part of that, but many of the books were much more recent than that and many of them were on topics that had nothing to do with the values and philosophy of the period. So, I don't think that worked. They were just going for the 'it looks very traditional right?' and the 'we have all this stuff and nowhere to put it...'. That's only half an excuse for how you design an exhibit. Especially when a lot of it is on loan (and don't get me started on that one, because designing a permanent exhibit with stuff that's on 5-year renewal loans is asking for it).
To that end: the Parthenon marbles are still in London, the Rosetta Stone is still the most visited piece in the whole museum, the gift shop is still deadly, and the humidity readings are 20% higher than they should be in all the textile galleries.
In conclusion, I cringe about a lot of things when I walk around the BM. But hey, despite the 6 hours on a bus, it was still nice to get out for a day.