UK Government Blocked Noted Classicist Mary Beard from British Museum Role

  • March 02, 2020 13:32

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Mary Beard presenting her TV series The Shock of the Nude, on BBC2
Photograph: Polly Alderton/BBC/Lion Television

The British Museum is a gargantuan repository of classical artifacts and Mary Beard is Britain's most high profile classicist. Seems like a match, yet...

Downing Street reportedly vetoed the appointment of Britain's best known classicist from becoming a trustee at the British Museum, reports The Guardian. The reason is thought to be that Professor Dame Mary Beard, who received a Getty Medal in 2019 for her scholarship, has pro-EU views which she voiced in various media during the age of Brexit, according to The Observer.

With the decision to exclude Beard made under the premiership of Theresa May and not Boris Johnson, the appointment could still be in play. The UK government, which gives the institution £40m of funding a year, gets to appoint most of the museum's trustees, while the museum is allowed to select five.

Beard said on Twitter: "Can I say thank you to everyone for such warm support over the BM thing. I am touched. I should in fairness point out one thing: in this, Boris is innocent. It was before his time in No 10."

Beard is a Cambridge don known for her deep knowledge and engaging approach in presenting ancient cultures, as seen in her many broadcasts including the popular new TV series Shock of the Nude on BBC Two.

Read more at Guardian

Tags: antiquities

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