Monday, March 2, 2020

Downing Street 'blocks' appointment of Mary Beard as British Museum trustee due to 'pro-European views'

Image: GETTY

Britain’s best-known classicist Mary Beard is pretty much a national treasure. So you’d think she’d be e​asily acce​pte​d onto the board of the country’s most prestigious historical institution, right?

Well, in normal times, you’d be correct. But sadly we’re in 2020 and everything is awful. The Observer reports that Beard was rejected by Downing Street as a trustee of the British Museum. Whitehall sources said the decision last year to turn her down had been made because of her pro-European views, which she isn’t at all shy about on social media.

In response to the bizarre snub, the museum is reportedly planning to appoint Beard anyway, seeing as its constitution allows it to choose five out of its 25 trustees for itself, without any approval from Downing Street.

Sir John Tusa, a former trustee of the museum, told the Observer that the veto was an “absolute scandal”.

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