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The British Museum’s collection was evacuated during the Second World War

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Planning for the evacuation of the British Museum’s treasures began in 1933 – a surprisingly early date, although many had begun to realize the dangers ahead. In 1938, the Museum and the National Library of Wales started work on a bombproof tunnel at Aberystwyth, and on Wednesday 23 August 1939, the Home Office gave orders to begin the evacuation. Heavy sculptures that could not make the journey were housed in the Aldwych Tube tunnel. You can find out more about the evacuation and its aftermath in these podcast episodes. Not everything was saved, however, and the Museum was struck by several incendiaries between September 1940 and May 1941. An air raid on 10 May 1941 resulted in the loss of some 250,000 books, t

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