The Chair of the Board of Trustees, George Osborne, has announced that Sir Mark Jones has been appointed Interim Director of the British Museum following approval by the Government.
Sir Mark is one of the most experienced and respected museum leaders in the world. As well as working for 17 years in a curatorial role at the British Museum at the beginning of his career, he was Director of National Museums Scotland and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Sir Mark Jones said: “I am pleased and honoured to have been offered the opportunity to work with the board and with colleagues in the Museum to ensure the future security of the collections and restore the reputation of this great Museum.”
Chair of Trustees, George Osborne, said: “This is a critical moment for the British Museum, and I cannot think of anyone better placed to help take us forward than Sir Mark Jones. His experience, grip and deep knowledge are exactly what’s needed, and I very much look forward to working together.”
Notes: Sir Mark Jones FRSE was Assistant Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum (1974–1990) and then Keeper of Coins and Medals from 1990 to 1992.
He went on to direct the National Museums of Scotland (1992–2001) which saw the opening of the Museum of Scotland in 1998, the creation of the National War Museum of Scotland at Edinburgh Castle and the Museum of Scottish Country Life at Kittochside in East Kilbride.
As Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum (2001–2011) he led a ten-year, £120 million programme of renewal of the museum and its displays which transformed two thirds of its vast building.
From 2011 to 2016 he was Master of St Cross College, Oxford. His time there saw a significant growth in student numbers and the construction of a new building, providing a new library, lecture theatre and seminar rooms.
In 2012, Mark established an independent bookshop in Edinburgh, the Golden Hare, which went on to be named Independent Bookshop of the Year 2019.
He is Chair of the Pilgrim Trust, the National Trust for Scotland, and Hospitalfield.