Wished: Somebody to revive belief in one of many world’s most visited museums after an embarrassing scandal, deal with restitution claims and lift $1.27 billion for a significant refurbishment.Wage: $275,000 a 12 months.The British Museum in London this week started the seek for a brand new director. 4 months in the past, Hartwig Fischer resigned from that place after the museum introduced that one among its curators had looted round 1,500 objects from its storerooms, then offered some on eBay.In September, Mark Jones, a former chief of the Victoria and Albert Museum, was appointed to run the British Museum, however solely on an interim foundation.Candidates for the everlasting place will need to have a “imaginative and prescient for the way forward for the British Museum and its objective as a nationwide and a world museum within the twenty first century,” the job posting says. However they need to additionally be capable to cope with a number of issues affecting the august establishment, which is the world’s third most visited museum.In addition to the fallout from the theft scandal, which has broken morale among the many museum’s practically 1,000-strong employees, the chosen candidate should handle requires the return of contested objects within the museum’s assortment, together with tons of of Benin Bronzes and the Parthenon Sculptures, also called the Elgin Marbles. The brand new director will even want to guide fund-raising efforts for a refurbishment venture involving a reorganization of the museum’s galleries and enhancements to the museum’s plumbing, heating and leaky roof. The Monetary Instances has reported that it’s going to value 1 billion kilos, round $1.27 billion.Final October, George Osborne, the museum’s chairman, instructed British lawmakers that discovering the precise candidate to guide the establishment was “a really, very sophisticated job.” As a result of it is usually a analysis group, Osborne added, the profitable applicant would want “to command the respect of the tutorial group,” in addition to having expertise “managing giant, advanced organizations.”The director will likely be paid £215,841 a 12 months, about $275,000, based on the itemizing. That sum is paltry in comparison with the salaries paid to the administrators of equal American establishments. The Metropolitan Museum of Artwork in New York pays Max Hollein, its director, a base wage of $1 million, based on tax filings. In america, some museum administrators additionally obtain luxurious housing on prime of their wage.Observers usually point out a handful of great contenders for the British Museum job. These embody Ian Blatchford, the director of the Science Museum in London; Nicholas Cullinan, who leads Britain’s Nationwide Portrait Gallery and who not too long ago oversaw a multimillion-pound renovation of that establishment; and Taco Dibbits, the director-general of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, who has overseen a few of Europe’s most talked-about latest exhibitions, together with a blockbuster 2023 Vermeer retrospective.Representatives for Cullinan, Dibbits and Blatchford all declined to remark.In line with latest high-profile American museum appointments, the job itemizing means that the British Museum’s trustees are open to surprising, and even outsider, candidates. “We’re agnostic about the kind of candidate we’re searching for, whether or not that’s somebody from inside or outdoors the museum sector,” the itemizing says. Final 12 months, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Basis named Mariët Westermann, the vice chancellor of N.Y.U. Abu Dhabi, as its new chief.Potential candidates have simply a few weeks to use for the position: The cut-off date is Jan. 26.
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To Run the British Museum, You’ll Get $275,000 and a Host of Issues