Director of the British Museum resigns after a series of thefts

Director of the British Museum resigns after a series of thefts

Red-handed. The Director of the British Museum announced, Friday, about resignation immediately after a series of Air flights in its collections, which is particularly embarrassing for one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world.

Hartwig Fischer, born in 1962 and in office since 2016, had already expressed his intention to step down next year. But pressure on this German art historian, the first non-British person to head the British Museum, has been mounting ever since. The announcement on August 16 that a series of pieces had disappeared from the collectionsSome of them date back to the fifteenth century BC.

“It is clear that the British Museum has not adequately responded to the 2021 warnings and the problem that is now fully apparent,” Fisher said in a statement. “The responsibility for this failure ultimately rests with the director.”The situation museum Very dangerous. He added, “I sincerely believe that he will overcome this stage and come out of it stronger, but unfortunately I have come to the conclusion that my presence is a source of confusion.”

Gold jewellery, semi-precious stones, glassware…

The president of the musée, George Osborne, presided over that the mission was acceptable and that the direction of the intersection was misplaced in the presence of the selection d’un nouveau patron for the institution, which figured out the attractions of the more visitors he had United kingdom. He acted honorably in dealing with the mistakes that were made. Mr Osborne said: “No one ever doubted Hartwig’s integrity, his dedication to his work, or his love of the museum.”

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The announcement of a series of thefts, small, undiscovered pieces preserved among millions of pieces in reserves, constituted a major fire in the museum. These jewelry include gold, semi-precious stones, or glassware dating back to the fifteenth century BC to the nineteenth century AD … The Foundation had indicated in the middle of last August that it had returned one of its employees, to communicate with the police and open an independent investigation in order to shed light on these Thefts and learn from them.

Items sold on eBay

Since then, the finds have multiplied drop by drop in the press, conjuring up hundreds of pieces that disappeared over several years, some of which are for sale online. ebay For modest amounts.

The press also identified the employee as Peter Higgs, a well-known curator in artistic circles. According to some media, not only was he left in his post despite suspicions, he was recently promoted to supervise Greek collections including the Parthenon Marbles, pieces that have been at the center of a very sensitive dispute because they are claimed by Greece.

London police said they had questioned a man but had not initiated any prosecution at this time.

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