The Great Court surrounds the original Reading Room of the British Museum. Once closed to the public, the reading room was only open for serious researchers and among them, well known figures (Mark Twain, Mahatma Ghandi, Karl Marx, George Orwell). It has now been transformed to an area with a collection of books on travel, art, history and anything else relevant to the collections housed in the museum. The upper ceilings surrounding the room are made from steel and glass and created reflections onto the cylindrical building in the middle. This area was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 and is officially called the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court. It is the largest covered square in Europe.