Mark Jones, numismatic researcher, author and former Keeper of the Coins has been named the interim Director at the British Museum in the wake of the recent object theft scandal. Here's an excerpt from a New York Times report. I added the image of the
Fake? The Art of Deception catalog.
Almost three weeks after the British Museum was plunged into crisis by the revelation of thefts from its storerooms, the London institution said it would come under new leadership.
On Saturday night, the museum said in a news release that Mark Jones, a former director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London, was to become its interim director, subject to British government approval.
George Osborne, the British Museum's chairman, said in the release that Jones was
one of the most experienced and respected museum leaders in the world, and he will offer the leadership and grip the museum needs right now.
His priorities are to accelerate the cataloging of the collection, improve security, and reinforce pride in the curatorial mission of the museum, Osborne said.
Jones will arrive to an overflowing in tray. In recent weeks, several foreign governments including Greece and Nigeria have renewed claims for artifacts in the British Museum's collection. The museum is also set to announce a major refurbishment project for which Jones will have to oversee a fund-raising drive.
The new leader is not a stranger to such challenges. During his time leading the Victoria and Albert Museum, from 2001 to 2011, Jones reintroduced free admission and oversaw a major refurbishment of the galleries. He also dealt with the fallout from several thefts. In three incidents in 2004, thieves stole eight Italian Renaissance bronze plaquettes from the museum; 15 Meissen porcelain figures worth nearly $4,000 each; and $100,000 worth of Chinese jade. After those incidents, the museum tightened its security, including by replacing old display cases and installing improved surveillance cameras and alarm systems.
Jones cut his teeth as a museum administrator at the British Museum, where he was a curator for coins and medals from for 1974 to 1992. Shortly before he left to run the National Museums of Scotland, he oversaw the acclaimed exhibition
Fake? The Art of Deception, which included counterfeit items that the British Museum had been duped into acquiring.
To read the complete article, see:
Crisis-Hit British Museum Names Interim Director
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
BRITISH MUSEUM GRAPPLES WITH THEFTS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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