British Museum name former St Cross Master Sir Mark Jones as New Interim Director

museum frontage

Photo Credit : © The Trustees of the British Museum


Sir Mark Jones, an Honorary Fellow and former Master of St Cross College, has been appointed as the interim Director of the British Museum.

Established in 1753 and inaugurated in 1759, the British Museum holds the distinction of being the first national museum with a comprehensive scope encompassing all facets of human knowledge. It welcomed visitors from around the globe, embodying the principles of the Enlightenment era: rigorous examination of assumptions, free discourse, scientific exploration, advancement, and acceptance. 

At its core, the Museum is fuelled by an unending thirst for global understanding, a profound faith in objects as trustworthy testimonials and records of human history, rigorous scholarly investigation, and a commitment to broadening and disseminating knowledge. 

The British Museum has garnered recent attention due to revelations that numerous items may have been stolen from its storage facilities, which prompted the resignation of its previous director Hartwig Fischer in late August. Sir Mark’s selection as interim director has received the endorsement of the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak and the Chair of Trustees, George Osborne, expressed, "This is a pivotal juncture for the British Museum, and there is no one more qualified than Sir Mark Jones to guide us into the future. His wealth of experience, strong leadership, and profound expertise are precisely what is required, and I eagerly anticipate our collaboration." 

Sir Mark Jones had a long-standing association with the British Museum, where he worked from 1974 to 1992, initially as an assistant keeper and later as the keeper of coins and medals. Following this, he took on the pivotal position of director at the National Museums of Scotland, where he served from 1992 to 2001. Notably, during his tenure as Master of St Cross College from 2011 to 2016, Sir Mark held the esteemed positions of Chair for both the Pilgrim Trust and the Historic Scotland Foundation.

Warm congratulations to Sir Mark on his achievements!