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Originally published Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Victoria has British Museum "Treasures"

Tour the world in Victoria as the Royal B.C. Museum mounts a special exhibit highlighting treasures from the British Museum in London.

Seattle Times travel writer

Can't afford a trip to London this year? Then get to Victoria, B.C., instead, to catch a glimpse of some of the British Museum's finest treasures.

Carpenters, painters and artists spent five months transforming exhibit space inside the Royal B.C. Museum into a British Museum experience, with 33 Greek-style columns and a hands-on activity zone. The exhibit opened May 1.

On display are 309 objects from the British Museum's collection in a show called "Treasures: The World's Cultures from the British Museum," running through Sept. 30.

From a million-year-old African hand axe, to a 3,000-year-old mummy and a throne built of decommissioned weapons from Mozambique's late-20th century civil war, the artifacts trace the story of nations and civilizations that have shaped the world over the past 1.5 million years.

Included in what the museum is calling a "World in One Gallery" are artifacts from Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.

An "Enlightenment Centre," inspired by the British Museum's Enlightenment Gallery, gives children the chance to try hands-on activities aimed at understanding hieroglyphics or learning how to put broken pottery back together

One exhibit includes artifacts from the British Museum's special handling collection. Interactive activities encourage museum-goers to wrap a mummy or write poetry on a magnetic wall.

Entrance fees are $27.50 (Canadian) for adults, including admission to the museum and a timed ticket to the "Treasures" exhibit; $18.50 for seniors, youths ages 6-18 and students with ID. Family passes for two adults and two children are $73.50. For information, call 888-447-7977, or see www.royalbcmuseum.bc.cato purchase tickets online.

The museum, at 675 Belleville St. on downtown Victoria's Inner Harbour, is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on most Fridays and Saturdays from June 5-Sept. 26.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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