Friday, March 29, 2024
HomeBrandingNew Management For British Museum Amidst Ongoing Artefact Theft Investigation

New Management For British Museum Amidst Ongoing Artefact Theft Investigation

British Museum has appointed Dr Nicholas Cullinan OBE as the brand new Director following the unanimous approval of the Board of Trustees and the settlement of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Through an official assertion, George Osborne, Chair of the British Museum, stated:

“The Trustees selected Nicholas Cullinan as the brand new Director of the British Museum as a result of he brings confirmed management in the present day and nice potential for tomorrow.He has proven his capability as Director of the Nationwide Portrait Gallery to supervise each a significant bodily renovation and a compelling renewal of goal in a approach that doesn’t take sides, however brings folks collectively – and received common acclaim.

He added, “We consider he can obtain this and extra on the larger scale of the British Museum as we undertake a once-in-a-generation redevelopment.In doing so, he can construct on the strong foundations laid by Mark Jones, to whom we owe an enormous debt of gratitude for moving into the breach final yr.I couldn’t be extra thrilled for Nick and extra excited for us as we enter this new chapter within the lengthy story of the British Museum with confidence and again on the entrance foot.”

Dr. Cullinan assumes the position of Sir Mark Jones, who served as Interim Director after Hartwig Fischer’s resignation because of the thefts on the London-based establishment.

A New Period Begins: Dr Nicholas Cullinan Leads British Museum Ahead

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, one of many UK’s famend and skilled museum administrators, has efficiently led the Nationwide Portrait Gallery since April 2015.

Throughout his time on the Nationwide Portrait Gallery, Dr Cullinan led essentially the most important transformation within the Gallery’s historical past since its constructing opened in 1896. 

He efficiently oversaw a whole re-presentation of the Assortment and applied important redevelopment of the constructing, increasing public house by one-fifth.

He additionally initiated an revolutionary worldwide collaboration with Getty to co-acquire Portrait of Mai (c. 1776) by Sir Joshua Reynolds – the most important acquisition within the Gallery’s historical past and that the UK has ever made. 

Portrait of Mai (Omai), c. 1776, image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, London and Getty
Portrait of Mai Omai c 1776 Picture Supply Nationwide Portrait Gallery London and Getty


Earlier than that, he labored on the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork in New York and Tate Fashionable in London as a curator, bringing a world perspective to his method. 

Notably, he co-curated an exhibition of Henri Matisse’s cut-outs with Sir Nicholas Serota in 2014. It’s the preferred exhibition in Tate’s historical past and the primary to obtain greater than half 1,000,000 guests.

The Stolen Artifacts Scandal 

In August 2023, the British Museum revealed the invention of lacking and broken gadgets in its assortment, prompting an impartial safety assessment. 

Consequently, the establishment additionally terminated a workers member suspected of stealing assortment gadgets, primarily Historic Greek and Roman jewelry, and gems saved inside a delegated storage space. They embrace gold jewelry and gems of semiprecious stones and glass relationship from the fifteenth century BC to the nineteenth century AD. 

Roman sard intaglio, engraved with the divine couple Serapis and Isis, and a female figure holding a sistrum (a ritual rattle), mounted on a modern gold setting, 1st-3rd Century AD.
One of many lacking gadgets is a Roman sard intaglio engraved with the divine couple Serapis and Isis and a feminine determine holding a sistrum a ritual rattle mounted on a contemporary gold setting 1st third Century AD Picture Supply British Museum

The extensively reported incident resulted within the resignation of Director Hartwig Fischer and Deputy Director Jonathan Williams.

The museum additionally sued former Senior Curator Dr Peter Higgs, alleging that he stole artefacts from its Collections and distributed them to dozens of patrons over ten years.

Legal professionals performing on behalf of the London museum’s trustees say there’s “compelling proof” that Dr Higgs “abused his place of belief” between not less than July 2009 and January 2018.

It’s alleged that a whole bunch of the gadgets that have been absent have been listed on the market on eBay, with PayPal utilised for transaction facilitation. The courtroom proceedings revealed earlier this month that, up to now, 356 stolen gadgets have been recovered.

This scandal, which shook the foundations of the museum world, underscored the pressing want for decisive motion and visionary management. 

Due to this fact, Dr. Cullinan’s appointment alerts a dedication to addressing systemic challenges and implementing strong safety measures to forestall future incidents.

On high of that, this appointment is a strategic transfer that goals to rebuild belief as cultural heritage establishments face rising scrutiny over how they defend invaluable treasures.

Reimagining the British Museum

Dr Nicholas Cullinan is the new Director of British Museum
Picture Supply Nationwide Portrait GalleryChris Floyd through The Occasions

The poaching of Dr Cullinan from the Nationwide Portrait Gallery displays the British Museum’s dedication to recruit high expertise and introduce recent views to its management staff. 

His appointment has obtained widespread commendation from the cultural neighborhood, with many lauding it as a constructive step in direction of rebuilding public belief.

As Dr. Cullinan assumes his place, he faces a frightening however transformative problem. The street forward would require unwavering dedication, strategic foresight, and a dedication to fostering a tradition of integrity and accountability.

Amidst the stolen artefacts scandal, the British Museum stands at a crossroads, poised to redefine its position as a custodian of worldwide heritage. With Dr. Nicholas Cullinan on the helm, there’s renewed optimism that the museum will emerge stronger and extra resilient, prepared to put in writing a brand new chapter in its storied historical past.



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