British Museum: New boss Nicholas Cullinan says he will lead ‘new chapter’ after thefts

Nicholas Cullinan, the new director of the British Museum, has said he hopes to lead the institution into a “new chapter” following a major theft scandal.

He said he would oversee “the most significant transformations, both architectural and intellectual.”

The outgoing director of the National Portrait Gallery starts in the summer, replacing acting director Sir Mark Jones.

Sir Mark replaced Hartwig Fischer, who resigned after jewelery was stolen from the museum.

Cullinan called his new job an “honor.”

jsak, jsak, jsak, jsak, jsak, jsak, jsak

“I look forward to joining your wonderful and dedicated staff… to lead you into a new chapter,” he said, adding that this would “encompass the most significant transformations, both architectural and intellectual, occurring in any museum globally, to continue making the British Museum as committed and collaborative as possible.

His appointment was approved by the board and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

In addition to his plans for the London museum, he will have to deal with the fallout and impact of his lawsuit against former staff member Peter Higgs, who is believed to have stolen and damaged at least 1,800 of the museum’s items. he.

‘Demonstrated leadership’
Dr Higgs worked in the museum’s Greece and Rome department from 1999 until the summer of 2023 and has denied all claims.

Cullinan was appointed director of the capital’s National Portrait Gallery in April 2015 and recently oversaw its three-year refurbishment and reopening.

The art historian, who was appointed OBE for services to the arts in the 2024 King’s New Year Honors list, previously worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London.

George Osborne, the museum’s president, said Cullinan “brings demonstrated leadership today and great potential for tomorrow.”

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer added: “I look forward to Nick sharing his vision for the museum, including how he will strengthen its world-leading partnerships, deliver the next phase of its major capital project and ensure the museum’s magnificent collections are enjoy for generations to come.”

He thanked Sir Mark, who was director of the V&A between 2001 and 2011, for his leadership and for “bringing stability to the organization during a difficult period”.