Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Museums and Brexit

Hartwig Fischer: ’In uncertain times the British Museum becomes ever more important in helping us understand how we got here.’ Photo: Alamy.

Maev Kennedy, British Museum even more vital after Brexit, says Hartwig Fischer, The Guardian, 1 July 2016

British Museum director repeats case for keeping Parthenon marbles after record-breaking year as UK’s top tourist attraction.

The new director of the British Museum, Hartwig Fischer, who took over after a record-breaking year at the museum just 12 weeks before the Brexit vote, has predicted that its role will be more essential than ever in the wake of the referendum.

“I think in uncertain times the British Museum becomes ever more important in helping us understand how we got here and how we proceed in the future, within this country and in the context of Europe and the world,” Fischer, who is German, said.

The museum in Bloomsbury, central London, had just under 6.9 million visitors, and a further 7.7 million people saw objects from the collection at touring exhibitions and loans outside London. The figures make it the leading visitor attraction in the UK for the ninth year, and the second most visited museum in the world.

The museum’s trustees are still trying to tease out the implications of Brexit in terms of EU-funded research projects, corporate and private funding and international loans, but Fischer pledged that both free admission and its partnerships with other museums in the UK and across the world would be maintained.

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See also: Patrick Steel, What are the implications of Brexit for museums?, Museums Association (UK) News, 29 June 2016

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