Almost every day I walk past the British Museum on the way to the History Today offices. I long lost count of the number of times I have stepped through its doors with family and friends, or just killing time in the most civilised way imaginable, always learning something new. Familiarity does not breed contempt. It is simply the finest museum of its kind in the world, and one that has largely resisted the patronising palaver of lesser establishments. Today is the 250th anniversary of its opening, a moment worthy of wild celebration. Anyone who happens to be in the vicinity this afternoon might wish to head to the Enlightenment Gallery, for a celebration of the life and work of the BM’s founder Sir Hans Sloane, at 2.30pm and 6pm.
1759 was an extraordinary year for