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Index – Culture – A museum curator sold stolen items online, and now they're looking for a new director

Index – Culture – A museum curator sold stolen items online, and now they're looking for a new director

As we wrote, in the past two decades, all major British museums have reported shortages: thousands of artefacts have lost their legs, many more stolen, but at least as many lost. The British Museum in London was also involved in the case, as an employee stole items from last summer, then sold them online. For this reason, the institution is now looking for a new director, capable of restoring order after the embarrassing scandal. Applicants have two weeks to apply, and the salary is 215 thousand pounds annually, converted into 95 million forints.

After the institution announced that one of its curators had stolen about 1,500 items from warehouses – and sold some on eBay – its then director, Hartwig Fischer, resigned in August 2023. In September, Mark Jones, former head of the Victoria and Albert Museum, was appointed to head the British Museum On a temporary basis.

the New York times According to his report, the job advertisement states: “Applicants must have a vision for the future of the British Museum and the 21st century. About its national and global role in the 20th century.” At the same time, applicants must also be able to deal with the many issues affecting the long-standing institution, which is the third most visited museum in the world.

The director's duties amount to 95 million Hungarian forints annually

The chosen candidate is also expected to work to boost the morale of the foundation's approximately 1,000 employees following the scandal, in addition to making efforts to return stolen artworks.

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In addition, the new director must lead a renovation project that includes reorganizing the museum's galleries, as well as repairing the institution's plumbing and heating system, as well as the leaky roof. the Financial Times According to his information, the cost of the project amounts to one billion pounds, or more than 441 billion forints.

Last October, George Osborne, the museum's president, told British lawmakers that finding the right candidate to lead the institution was a “very difficult task.” Since this is also a research organisation, the successful applicant must “pass the test before the scientific community” and also have experience in “managing large, complex organisations”.

According to the announcement, the director receives 215,841 pounds sterling annually, or about 95 million Hungarian forints. This amount is negligible compared to the salaries of directors of similar American institutions, for example. According to tax returns, the basic salary of the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Max Hollein, is $1 million (346 million forints) annually, and in the United States, some museum directors also receive luxury apartments in addition to their salaries.

Meanwhile, in the job advertisement in England, they write that they are open to anything: “We have not yet decided exactly what type of candidate we are looking for, whether from within the museum sector or from outside it. We welcome applications.” Until January 26, 2024.”

(Cover photo: The British Museum building in London on August 23, 2023. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images Hungary)