$38 million gift a lot of bacon for British Museum

About 5 million visitors tour the British Museum every year. Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

About 5 million visitors tour the British Museum every year. Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

LONDON (AP) – The British Museum says it is getting $38 million from John Sainsbury, the former chairman of Britain’s Sainsbury’s supermarket chain.

The donation is one of the biggest gifts to the arts in recent decades and will help the world-renowned London institution fund an extension and preserve its cache of ancient artifacts.

The donation also comes at a time of uncertainty for British cultural institutions, which are facing deep cuts in public funding as the new government works to balance the country’s budget.

The British Museum’s collection includes the Rosetta Stone, the Lewis Chessmen and the Elgin Marbles.

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AP-WS-09-12-10 1224EDT