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Open letter calls on British Museum to rename BP Lecture Theatre

An open letter sent to the British Museum calls on outbound director Hartwig Fischer to remove BP’s name from the institution's lecture theatre




The British Museum seemingly ended its 27-year corporate partnership with BP earlier this year   Credit: Canva

More than 80 public figures, including artists, heritage workers and climate activists, have signed an open letter calling on London’s British Museum to remove BP’s name from its 300-seat lecture theatre.

The letter, sent to outbound director Hartwig Fischer, comes after BP reported profits exceeding £2bn (US$2.5bn, €2.3bn) for Q2 2023, and requests that Fischer rename the theatre before he steps down next year.

Among its signatories is photographer Nan Goldin, who led a campaign to remove the Sackler name from museums around the world after the Sackler family and their company Purdue Pharma were accused of profiting from the US opioid crisis.

Climate justice activist Tori Tsui; director of Britain’s Brunel Museum Katherine McAlpine; climate scientist Bill McGuire; writer Gaia Vince and archaeologist David Wengrow also signed the letter.

The news comes after the institution seemingly ended its 27-year corporate partnership with the fossil fuel giant earlier this year, becoming the latest of several UK cultural institutions, including the National Portrait Gallery, Tate, National Galleries Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company, to cut ties with BP in recent years.

The letter argues, however, that BP’s continued presence at the British Museum “lends BP an undeserved and dangerous social legitimacy and influence.”

“Just as cultural institutions around the world have removed the Sackler family name as evidence of the harmful ways their money was made came to light, the damning evidence of BP’s past - and present - can no longer be ignored,” the letter said.

“Renaming the lecture theatre would send a powerful message about the future the museum wants to see.

“By pledging an end to funding from fossil fuel companies and by renaming the ‘BP Lecture Theatre’, you would be demonstrating the kind of climate leadership that is now so urgently needed.”

The British Museum has yet to respond to the letter.


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Open letter calls on British Museum to rename BP Lecture Theatre | Planet Attractions
news

Open letter calls on British Museum to rename BP Lecture Theatre

An open letter sent to the British Museum calls on outbound director Hartwig Fischer to remove BP’s name from the institution's lecture theatre




The British Museum seemingly ended its 27-year corporate partnership with BP earlier this year   Credit: Canva

More than 80 public figures, including artists, heritage workers and climate activists, have signed an open letter calling on London’s British Museum to remove BP’s name from its 300-seat lecture theatre.

The letter, sent to outbound director Hartwig Fischer, comes after BP reported profits exceeding £2bn (US$2.5bn, €2.3bn) for Q2 2023, and requests that Fischer rename the theatre before he steps down next year.

Among its signatories is photographer Nan Goldin, who led a campaign to remove the Sackler name from museums around the world after the Sackler family and their company Purdue Pharma were accused of profiting from the US opioid crisis.

Climate justice activist Tori Tsui; director of Britain’s Brunel Museum Katherine McAlpine; climate scientist Bill McGuire; writer Gaia Vince and archaeologist David Wengrow also signed the letter.

The news comes after the institution seemingly ended its 27-year corporate partnership with the fossil fuel giant earlier this year, becoming the latest of several UK cultural institutions, including the National Portrait Gallery, Tate, National Galleries Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company, to cut ties with BP in recent years.

The letter argues, however, that BP’s continued presence at the British Museum “lends BP an undeserved and dangerous social legitimacy and influence.”

“Just as cultural institutions around the world have removed the Sackler family name as evidence of the harmful ways their money was made came to light, the damning evidence of BP’s past - and present - can no longer be ignored,” the letter said.

“Renaming the lecture theatre would send a powerful message about the future the museum wants to see.

“By pledging an end to funding from fossil fuel companies and by renaming the ‘BP Lecture Theatre’, you would be demonstrating the kind of climate leadership that is now so urgently needed.”

The British Museum has yet to respond to the letter.


 



© Kazoo 5 Limited 2024