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The partnership between the British Museum and oil giant BP is causing an outcry

The partnership between the British Museum and oil giant BP is causing an outcry

This ten-year partnership, totaling 58 million euros, should allow the museum to renovate its building.


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Front of the British Museum.  (MAXPPP)

A noisy financial deal in the UK. The British Museum has announced a ten-year partnership with oil giant BP (formerly British Petroleum), totaling €58 million. A third of the money is to be used to modernize the galleries, 200-year-old buildings, and phase out dependence on fossil fuels.

Immediately, associations and personalities in the cultural world condemned the deal with a company that exploits and sells polluting energies. “Greenwashing”, environmentalists immediately responded, or a polluting company, with less investment than its returns, offers more green communication. It was enough to further damage the museum’s image in the United Kingdom after a scandal involving stolen objects led to the resignation of the museum’s head this summer.

Departure from the Museum’s Board of Directors

The British Museum’s board of trustees has also been rocked by internal debates over its partnership with BP, which has already led to the departure of some members. Its link with BP dates back to 1996, but it has been particularly criticized in recent years. Other institutions such as the Tate Gallery, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Gallery have decided to end all partnerships with oil companies.

After 15 years of state government funding cuts, the cultural sector is struggling to find funding. British Museum included. His decision is accompanied by fears of new spectacular protests from environmentalists “Stop Oil”. Several gatherings have already taken place in front of and inside the buildings in recent years.

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