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British Museum makes the top 20 of world's 'must see' sites

London's British Museum has been named as a global must-see spot, alongside some of the world's most prestigious heritage sites.

In an ultimate travel list drawn up by travel website Lonely Planet, and dominated by members of Unesco's World Heritage Sites, the museum came in 15th spot behind Australia's Great Barrier Reef and the Taj Mahal in India.

The British Museum in Bloomsbury Credit: PA

The British Museum, founded in 1753, includes artefacts that date back millions of years and was visited by over six million people last year.

It houses around eight million items and was included in the top 20 due to it being "the greatest treasure house of Europe" according to those compiling the list.

The team of travel experts and authors rated the world's best sights in an effort to list the world's 500 best places to see on the planet, of which 34 came from the UK and Northern Ireland, including the Lake District, Snowdonia in Wales and Edinburgh Castle.

The number one spot in the list was taken by Cambodia's Temples of Angkor which is regarded as one of the world's most important archaeological sites.

The Great Court and the Reading Room at the British Museum Credit: PA

The number one spot in the list was taken by Cambodia's Temples of Angkor which is regarded as one of the world's most important archaeological sites.

To celebrate the release of Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travelist, three of the world's finest sand sculptors will recreate five sights from around the world on Peter's Hill in central London this week.

The top 20 of the Lonely Planet travel list is:

  1. Temples of Angkor, Cambodia

  2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  3. Machu Picchu, Peru

  4. Great Wall of China, China

  5. Taj Mahal, India

  6. Grand Canyon National Park, USA

  7. Colosseum, Italy

  8. Iguazu Falls, Brazil-Argentina

  9. Alhambra, Spain

  10. Aya Sofya, Turkey

  11. Fez Medina, Morocco

  12. Twelve Apostles, Australia

  13. Petra, Jordan

  14. Tikal, Guatemala

  15. British Museum, England

  16. Sagrada Familia, Spain

  17. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

  18. Santorini, Greece

  19. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

  20. Museum of Old & New Art, Australia

British Museum to be digitally re-created in Minecraft

An online version of the British Museum, complete with all of its eight million exhibits, is due to be built using the popular video game Minecraft.

In the game, players can build entire worlds from scratch using different types of blocks. Staff at the museum have gone online looking for members of the public and fans of the game to take part.

The British Museum will be re-created online with all of its exhibits

The project is part of the Museum of the Future scheme, trying to expand the British Museum's online appeal. Built in the 1850s, it is now the UK's most popular tourist attraction and has over six million visitors every year.

Famous exhibits, like the Lewis Chessmen, will be re-created in digital form

The project is still in its early stages and the first steps will be to build the Great Court and facade of the building before starting work on other areas of the museum.

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British Museum Viking exhibition opens

The British Museum's Viking Exhibition is now officially open to the public. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The British Museum's Viking Exhibition officially opens to the public today.

It's the first time for more than 30 years the museum has held such an event.

The centre-piece will be the remains of a 37m long Viking warship.

Key public institutions 'should move from London'

Patrick Diamond says the Government seems more interested in "shoring up the old economic model" which brought about the last recession:

Key public institutions ought to be dispersed outside London. For example, the House of Lords ought to have a regional base; cultural institutions such as the Royal Opera House and the British Museum ought to be re-located in Northern cities.

– Patrick Diamond

British Museum & Royal Opera House 'should go North'

A former adviser to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown has suggested that the British Museum and Royal Opera House should be moved out of London to a northern city.

The Great Court inside The British Museum Credit: Press Association

Patrick Diamond, who helped write Labour's 2010 manifesto, says politicians need to form a new 'national economic strategy', with a big shift of power to the regions. He says that would that would put communities, councils and other civic leaders in charge of a localised economy.

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St Paul's sees visitor numbers double as more people holiday at home

Visitor numbers are up nearly 50 per cent at St Paul's Cathedral compared to last year as financially squeezed families choose to holiday at home. Figures from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions said that nationally numbers at leading attractions were up 22 per cent.

More than 300,000 people have visited the V&A museum to see the _David Bowie is ..... _exhibition which ends this weekend and The British Museum in London has also seen big business.

Ice age artists go on display at British Museum

The exhibition shows how human beings developed art. Credit: ITN

The British Museum has brought together examples of Ice Age art from across Europe for a new exhibition. Some of the exhibits are 40,000 years old and help researchers to understand how humans developed creative ways of thinking.

This carving of a woman is sculpted from mammoth ivory. Pablo Picasso studied this carving. Credit: ITN
This 'lion man' is an early example of a sculptor being creative, making up a new creature that did not exist in nature. Credit: ITN
This flute is over 36,000 years old and is made from a wing bone of a Griffon Vulture. Credit: ITN
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