Art News, Artists, Music and more!

Nicholas Cullinan Is The New Director Of The British Museum

The British Museum has chosen Nicholas Cullinan, currently the director of the National Portrait Gallery in London, as its new head.

As director, Nicholas Cullinan would have his work cut out for him – to navigate the museum out of the fallout from last year’s scandal. Last year, the British Museum revealed that more than 2,000 items had gone missing from their inventory. The primary accused was said to be curator Peter Higgs, who was fired in June and is now the target of a lawsuit from the museum. However, the scandal caused serious damage to the museum’s international reputation, with many countries strengthening their repatriation demands citing the poor security at the museum. The scandal caused director Hartwig Fischer to resign from his position.

Perhaps this is why the museum went with Nicholas Cullinan, who has had a stellar career in leadership. Serving as the director of the National Portrait Gallery since 2015, Cullinan oversaw the $53 million redevelopment project that expanded the gallery’s space. He was also behind the landmark £50 million acquisition of Portrait of Omai (Mai), the 18th-century painting by Joshua Reynolds. Before that, Cullinan served as a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Tate Modern in London – the latter of which saw a record-breaking Henry Matisse exhibition in 2014 under him.

Also Read: Andy Warhol “Mao” Print Goes Missing From Californian College

As the new director, Nicholas Cullinan might first want to focus on recovering the stolen objects, many of which still remain missing. He would also have to work towards rebuilding the trust in the museum and diplomatically tackling the renewed calls for repatriations. The recently filed lawsuit against Peter Higgs would also be crucial in that regard.