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6 January 2017

Extended hours and cake to celebrate the Museum’s most popular show to date

The National Museum of Australia in Canberra is celebrating the one-millionth global visit to its blockbuster exhibition, A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum, and is extending its opening hours until the show closes on 29 January 2017.

With over 128,000 visits to date, A History of the World in 100 Objects has become the National Museum’s most popular exhibition, exceeding the 2010 Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route show, which clocked some 122,000 visits.

From Saturday 7 January 2017, the exhibition’s opening hours will be from 8am until 6pm, except Sundays, which will be 8am until 7pm.

Since its launch in Abu Dhabi in April 2014, A History of the World in 100 Objects has toured seven venues in four countries, including Japan and Taiwan. Before arriving in Australia, 845,861 people had visited the exhibition globally.

After its run at the Western Australian Museum in Perth and four months in Canberra, the one-millionth global visit was recently recorded at the National Museum, which is inviting guests to cut a cake to celebrate on Tuesday 10 January.

'We are absolutely delighted to be the venue that records the one-million global visit to this fabulous exhibition, featuring unique treasures from the British Museum. I encourage Australians to see this show and to come along to celebrate,' said National Museum Director, Dr Mathew Trinca.

Dr Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, said 'A History of the World in 100 Objects has been an extraordinary project and I am delighted it has reached this milestone at the National Museum of Australia.’

'The Museum’s collection and this exhibition in particular celebrate world culture and history and our interconnectedness. It is wonderful that this exhibition has been seen in so many parts of the world, from Abu Dhabi to Australia, by over one million visitors,' said Dr Fischer.

British Museum curator, Belinda Crerar, described the milestone as a 'phenomenal achievement'.

A History of the World in 100 Objects uses items from around the globe to explore two million years of human history.

From stone to gold, clay to plastic, the exhibition traces the past through objects people have made, including a 1.6-metre-tall Assyrian relief; the famous clay flood tablet from modern Iraq inscribed with the story of a great flood and an ark; and the extraordinary bronze head of Caesar Augustus.

A History of the World in 100 Objects is on show in Canberra from 9 September 2016 – 29 January 2017.

For more information please contact Diana Streak, (02) 6208 5091 / 0422 536 064 or

The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum, the Western Australian Museum and the National Museum of Australia.

The exhibition A History of the World in 100 Objects is supported by the Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance (AGIEI) Program. This program provides funding for the purchase of insurance for significant cultural exhibitions. Without AGIEI, the high cost of insuring significant cultural items would prohibit this major exhibition from touring to Australia.

The British Museum, Western Australian Museum, Visit Canberra, Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance Program, QT Canberra, Foxtel, Prime7, Singapore Airlines

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