Former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has been appointed chair of the British Museum’s board of trustees, the museum announced Thursday.
Osborne will join the board of trustees on September 1 and become chairman on October 4, replacing former Financial Times editor Richard Lambert. The role is unpaid.
Osborne has taken on a number of different roles since leaving public office in May 2017 but has cut back of late, stepping down as editor of the Evening Standard earlier this year and leaving a part-time role at U.S. fund manager BlackRock. He is currently a partner at investment bank Robey Warshaw and is chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.
The trustees said they unanimously chose Osborne as their leader following “an independent, open and thorough search process.”
Osborne said on Twitter he was “hugely thrilled” about the job, adding: “To my mind, it’s the greatest museum in the world — a place that tells the common story of humanity. That’s something to be proud of and celebrate.”
Pressing issues for Osborne will include the future of the Parthenon Marbles, which Greece wants returned but which Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier this year were remaining in the London museum; how to deal with the legacy of the museum’s slave-owning founding father Hans Sloane; and the sponsorship of exhibitions, with climate activists protesting in May at the museum’s deal with oil giant BP.
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