Hartwig Fischer to step down as British Museum Director

Image: Hartwig Fischer © Benedict Johnson

Fischer will leave the post next year, as the museum begins the search for a new Director in Autumn

The Director of the British Museum has announced he will step down from the position next year.

Hartwig Fischer joined the museum in April 2016, and will leave the role after eight years. An official leaving date has not been announced, but the museum said it will begin a search for his successor in Autumn.

Fischer said he had been appointed to the role to prepare the renovation of a building “in need of rejuvenation”, and while the renovation works continue, “the foundations of the BM Masterplan are now laid”.

The museum said work on the Masterplan is now nearing completion, it will be published this Autumn and an international architectural competition will follow.

The Director said his career will now “[move] beyond the institutional framework of a single museum to engage in the rescue and preservation of cultural heritage in times of climate crisis, conflict, war, and violence.”

While still in position, Fischer said he and the museum will “push ahead with our plans and secure a successful transition.”

George Osborne, Chair of the British Museum, said Fischer has “led the British Museum through a pivotal period, developing a comprehensive Masterplan for a bright, long-term future.

“The Trustees respect his decision to move on to new ventures next year.”

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer added: “From leading the organisation through the pandemic and welcoming back millions of visitors a year, to opening up a world-class storage and research facility and developing partnerships around the world, Hartwig leaves a valuable legacy.”