The British Museum: Getting Things Done the Neil McGregor Way!


Apologies for the delay this morning. Both of we young writers are traveling at the moment and you know how that can impede your time to sit and write. But enough excuses. You didn’t come here to read what we’re up to. So first up, think about what you’d like to know about Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum. Now triple that. That’s what you’re getting with “Behind the Scenes at the British Museum” in the Sunday Times. It’s a gigantic feature on the man who, over the years at its helm, has turned around the whole museum and made it run like a well-oiled machine. Here’s some:

…The collection was no longer imperial booty, but a global guarantee that, whatever happened elsewhere, here multiple stories could still be reconstructed. The second Gulf war played right into his hands.

“Take what is obviously the biggest issue at the moment — Iraq. The museum in Baghdad is completely closed. The director felt he could no longer ask his security staff to protect the works, so he put the entire collection in the basement and sealed it with concrete. There is now no place in Iraq where its history can be studied. That means, for the time being, the national museum of Iraq is the British Museum.”

Oh, hey, also, if you find yourself liking this article by Brian Appleyard, don’t miss the other story he had in the Times on Sunday, this interview with DA Pennebaker.