During the Victorian era, Salford Museum and Art Gallery housed a number of casts of famous statues displayed in the British Museum and the Louvre. These included: slabs of the Elgin marbles, the Rosetta Stone, Venus de Milo, and the Nimroud Obelisk from Nineveh. The casts were presented to Salford museum by the Board of Trade. Whilst such replicas of famous statues are rarely shown in museums today it was common in the Victorian era to create replicas that could be displayed around the country.

Museums use replicas today for displaying extremely fragile artefacts kept in their stores or occasionally for filling in missing pieces of a broken object. For example, the Elgin (Parthenon) Marbles that are displayed in Athens are accompanied by casts of the sections owned by the British Museum.