Defiant British Museum appoints Mary Beard as trustee

Board approves the ‘perfect candidate’ after she was rejected by No 10 for her pro-European views

Renowned classicist Mary Beard has been chosen as a trustee of the British Museum, despite Downing Street blocking her nomination last year because of her pro-European views.

Under the museum’s constitution, its board can pick five of the 25 trustees. Downing Street approves most of the others and after it rejected Beard, the board appointed her itself.

The Cambridge don, who will take up the role for an initial period of four years on Monday, said she was delighted. “It was a visit to the BM which first inspired me to work on the ancient world,” she told the Observer. “I have been a huge beneficiary of this and other museums in the country over the past 60 years, and am now delighted to be able to give something back.”

After the Observer revealed at the beginning of March that she had been snubbed by Downing Street, thousands of readers called the decision petty and vindictive and said her expertise in ancient civilisations made her an ideal candidate

A Downing Street source told the PA news agency that “the current administration is delighted to see Mary Beard appointed and has no reservations over her appointment, which should have happened sooner”.

Contributor

Richard Brooks

The GuardianTramp

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