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British Museum director resigns after series of thefts

British Museum director resigns after series of thefts

The director of the prestigious London museum tendered his immediate resignation on Friday, ten days after a series of pieces were reported missing from the British Museum’s collection.

The director of the British Museum announced his immediate resignation on Friday after a series of thefts from its collection, a particularly embarrassing affair at one of the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions.

Incumbent since 2016, Hardwick Fischer, born in 1962, had already expressed his intention to give up his seat next year. But the pressure on the German art historian – the first non-Briton to head the British Museum – has mounted since a series of pieces, some dating back to the 15th century, were reported missing from the collection on August 16. BC

“It is clear that the British Museum has not responded to the warnings of 2021 and the problem that is now fully visible,” Hardwick Fischer was quoted as saying in a press release. “Responsibility for this failure ultimately rests with the director.”

Resignation accepted

“The situation in which the museum finds itself is very serious. I sincerely hope that it will overcome this episode and come out of it stronger, but unfortunately I have come to the conclusion that my presence is causing confusion,” he added.

Museum chairman George Osborne said the resignations had been accepted and an interim director would be appointed to help one of the world’s most visited attractions find a new boss. United Kingdom.

“He has acted honorably in dealing with the mistakes he made. No one doubts Hardwicke’s integrity, his dedication to his work or his love for the museum,” said George Osborne.

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The announcement of a series of thefts, of small undisclosed pieces among millions of pieces in the holdings, created a rout for the museum. These include gold jewellery, semi-precious stones or glassware dating from the 15th century BC to the 19th century AD.

The company indicated in mid-August that it had fired an employee, brought in the police and launched an independent investigation to highlight and learn from the thefts.

Since then, revelations in the press have multiplied, sparking hundreds of items that have disappeared over the years, some ending up selling for modest sums on eBay.

The press also identified the employee as Peter Hicks, a well-known curator in art circles.

According to some media, he did not stay in office despite doubts, but was recently promoted to oversee Greek collections, including the Parthenon marbles at the center of a highly-sensitive dispute over Greek claims. London police said they were questioning a man but had not opened any charges as of now.

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