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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

British Museum opens Treasures of Heaven exhibit

27th July 2011

Art loving visitors to hotels in Marble Arch may be interested to see the British Museum's Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe exhibition.

Running until October 9th, the display of religious relics and iconography has been gathered from collections at 40 museums around the world - including some especially rare pieces from the Vatican.

The exhibit tracks the development of Christian relics from simple containers of human remains to objects of significant ritual importance.

Visitors can see the arm of reliquary of St George, which has been housed in the Treasury of St Mark's in Venice since 1204, the Horn Thorn reliquary from 1390, and the 12th-century bust of St Baudime, which is said to have once contained a vial of saint's blood.

Tickets start at £10 for children and £12 for adults, while special prices are available for group bookings.

"Drawing on three major museum holdings, as well as featuring iconic pieces from other international public and private collections, Treasures of Heaven looks at the phenomenon of holy relics in the Middle Ages," commented the museum.

While visiting the British Museum it would be wise to consider taking in some of the other exhibits, such as the Lewis Chessmen, a set of carved walrus ivory chess pieces.

The elaborate set was discovered on the Isle of Lewis and has sparked debate as to where it originally came from and who owned the pieces.

Additionally, the museum's Cycladic gallery has acquired a new piece - an extremely rare marble hunter-warrior figurine from 2,300 to 2,200 BC.

Earlier this month, the venue announced the upcoming opening of its pharaoh exhibit, featuring 130 objects spanning 3,000 years of history.

Among the rarest pieces is the pendant of King Senusret II, which transforms the hieroglyphs that spell his name into a decorative piece crafted from gold and semi-precious stones.

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