British Museum director to step down and head to Berlin

8th April 2015, Comments 0 comments

The head of London's British Museum will step down at the end of this year and is to work on a major new cultural project in Berlin, it said Wednesday.

Neil MacGregor, who has been in charge since 2002, will leave in December to work on part-time projects including advising German Culture Minister Monika Gruetters on the development of the Humboldt Forum.

MacGregor organised a popular exhibition on German history last year at the British Museum, which is the most visited tourist attraction in Britain.

The Humboldt Forum, a new museum due to open in 2019, is described by Gruetters as "our most ambitious cultural project" and will be housed in a former imperial palace in Berlin.

Media reports suggest that MacGregor could eventually be a candidate to run it.

After leaving the British Museum, he will also work alongside the CSMVS Museum in Mumbai -- India's most prestigious -- and on a new series for BBC radio.

During his time at the British Museum, MacGregor defended its right to keep its most controversial artefacts, the Elgin Marbles.

The museum's loan of part of the Elgin Marbles to the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg last year drew an angry response from Greece, which wants the return of the sculptures which were once part of the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis in Athens.


© 2015 AFP

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