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Former chancellor George Osborne gets new job at ‘greatest museum in the world’

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Former chancellor George Osborne has been appointed as the next chairman of the British Museum.

The ex-Conservative MP will join the trustees as of 1 September and take over from Sir Richard Lambert on 4 October after the board approved his appointment, the museum said.

Mr Osborne, who stepped down as editor-in-chief of the Evening Standard in March, also became a partner at investment bank Robey Warshaw in April.

It is thought the British Museum can still appoint the professor
Image: The British Museum is undergoing a “programme of renewal,” which Mr Osborne will support

He will remain as chairman of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, a partnership of northern business and civic leaders.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the team at the British Museum – and so honoured to have had the opportunity to apply for this role, and to have been chosen by the trustees to become their chair,” he said.

“All my life I have loved the British Museum. To my mind, it is quite simply the greatest museum in the world.

“It’s a place that brings cultures together and tells the story of our common humanity.”

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Baroness Minouche Shafik, who is deputy chair of the museum, said Mr Osborne will be working with the board to expand the institution’s audience as it embarked on a programme of renewal.

The British Museum, Tate Modern, the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) all saw an average 78% drop in attendance in 2020 compared with 2019 because of the pandemic, according to a survey by The Art Newspaper.