Ahdaf Soueif says she raised concerns about BP's sponsorship of the British Museum years ago. Her decision to leave its board was driven by "where it gets its money, how it treats its workers, and who it considers partners".
'The British Museum is one of the world’s few encyclopaedic museums: it tells the story of how civilisation was built; it boasts seven million visitors a year and is committed to free entry; it holds a unique place of authority in the nation’s – perhaps the world’s – consciousness. A few days ago I resigned from its Board of Trustees.
My resignation was not in protest at a single issue; it was a cumulative response to the museum’s immovability on issues of critical concern to the people who should be its core constituency: the young and the less privileged.
Public cultural institutions have a responsibility: not only a professional one towards their work, but a moral one in the way they position themselves in relation to ethical and political questions. The world is caught up in battles over climate change, vicious and widening inequality, the residual heritage of colonialism, questions of democracy, citizenship and human rights. On all these issues the museum needs to take a clear ethical position.' ... Keep reading on LRB Blog