Published  02/09/2002

British Museum’s continuing cash crisis

The real problem for the British Museum, as Suzanna Taverne, said in her parting shot as the museum’s first managing director, has been the fact that the government grant has been cut by 30%in real terms over the past decade. The loss of Chris Smith earlier this year as the Minister responsible appeared to exacerbate a situation that no amount of professional fundraising skill as offered by the new director Ian MacGregor will rapidly reverse. Taverne doubted that the Trustees could find a ‘scholar-director of great management ability’, and yet they now have this person, amazingly. MacGregor is both a direct dealer and an astute negotiator and the government will have to take seriously his demands, which are on the table.

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