Mr M. Cassidy CBE MBA Chairman Board of Governors Museum of London 150 London Wall London EC2Y 5HN 14th March 2011 Dear Mr Cassidy,
Re: Potential Cuts at the Museum of London.
I am writing to you in my capacity as Chair of RESCUE – The British Archaeological Trust to express my concern at the reports that the Museum of London is to dismiss a senior member of the curatorial staff while at the same time deleting the post of curator of medieval collections which has been frozen since 2009.
RESCUE believes that the strengths of a museum, particularly one with the responsibilities of the Museum of London, lie equally in the quality and experience of its curatorial staff and in its collections.
The importance of the collections held in the Museum are not in doubt and they have a high level of significance not only for London but for the country as a whole. Given London’s position as a city with global economic and political significance it is no exaggeration to say that the collections are of international importance. To lose senior curatorial posts in such an institution will inevitably undermine the position of the museum as a national centre of excellence in research and presentation and will severely compromise the ability of the remaining staff to deliver the kind of high-quality service that the public and the historical and archaeological professions have come to expect from the Museum of London. More specifically we are concerned that the loss of curatorial experience and expertise will compromise the institution in the following ways:
RESCUE believes that with tourism, and specifically heritage tourism, likely to play a useful role in the nation’s recovery from the recession and the effects of the banking crisis, this is a time when institutions such as the Museum of London should be investing in assets such as their skilled curators and conservators in order to be able to present ever more challenging and effective exhibitions and research opportunities to a global audience. It is deeply regrettable that this does not seem to be understood by those responsible for planning for the Museum’s future. We very much hope that these proposals will be reconsidered and look forward to your response.
Diana Friendship-Taylor (Mrs.) Chair RESCUE – The British Archaeological Trust
Director, Museum of London
Mayor of London,
Alderman Michael Bear
Lord Mayor of London
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