Neil MacGregor, the highly regarded Director of the British Museum, the UK’s most popular tourist attraction and one of the top five museum destinations in the world, is to step down.
The announcement came today when he explained to colleagues that he’d made the “very difficult decision” to leave in December this year. The reason he gave was that he wanted to stop working full-time.
The 68 year old, joined the institution in 2002 and has been a reforming force in counteracting its one-time “stuffy” image and transforming it into a world class family attraction. He stated of his role as the “greatest privilege of my professional life” with visitor numbers to the central London museum increasing from 4.6 million a year to 6.7 million in thirteen years.
The former chief of the National Gallery, will now have a number of high profile part-time jobs, including presenting a new series on religion for BBC radio. MacGregor is also rumoured as the new presenter of its proposed remake of the Civilisation series. He will also be chairing a committee advising the Humboldt Forum arts complex, one of Germany’s most important cultural projects.