Culture Unstained's response to the appointment of George Osborne as Chair of British Museum Trustees:
Chris Garrard's letter in the FT, 28.6.21:
The British Museum will soon decide whether to renew its sponsorship deal with the oil company BP. However, its new chair George Osborne can have no role in that decision (“George Osborne picked to lead British Museum”, June 25).
Osborne is a partner at Robey Warshaw, where BP is a current client and, until recently, he was an adviser for BlackRock, one of BP’s major investors.
As chancellor, Osborne drastically cut funding to the Arts Council by 30 per cent while providing generous tax breaks to BP and others, in order to maximise oil production in the North Sea. Today, BP continues to invest in new fossil fuel exploration despite the International Energy Agency having now made clear that such investments must end if the world is to be on a pathway to the 1.5C target set in the Paris agreement.
The British Museum’s trustees should reconsider their decision to appoint a candidate that creates such clear conflicts of interest around one of the major controversies facing the museum today. Chris Garrard London SE22, UK