September 2011

NMDC Newsletter: September 2011
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NMDC Newsletter: September 2011
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Welcome to NMDC’s monthly news update...
In this issue:

and much more…


NMDC staffing changes

Suzie Tucker will be taking over as Head of Strategy and Delivery at NMDC from 8th September, when Lizzie Glithero-West goes on maternity leave.  Suzie has worked at NMDC since 2006 in various roles and for the last two years has been managing NMDC projects and leading on museum policy issues.  Prior to joining NMDC, she worked at an arts and heritage consultancy, after completing an MA in Museum Studies.  Lizzie will return to NMDC in October 2012. Katie Childs has been appointed to Suzie's current role of Projects and Policy Officer for the coming year.  Katie has been International Programmes Manager at the British Museum since July 2009, prior to which she managed the World Collections Programme.  Before joining the British Museum in 2008, Katie worked at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as International Cultural Policy Manager and Senior Arts Policy Advisor.  She starts at NMDC on 5th September.


Arts Council briefing events on Renaissance plans

Arts Council England (ACE) will be holding a series of briefing meetings for museums this month, at six venues around the country, to explain the application process for Renaissance major grants and to discuss how museums can be reflected in ACE's strategic goals and mission for 2012-2015.  Representatives from museums that would be eligible for Renaissance funding have been invited to attend.  If you feel your organisation would benefit from attending and has not received an invitation, you should contact ACE.  More

Mediation service for art and cultural heritage disputes

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) have developed a special mediation process for art and cultural heritage disputes.  The service is intended to provide impartial and confidential mediation for disputes involving cultural property, including issues arising from loans, exports, sale and other museum activities.  The mediation process aims to preserve or enhance the relationship between the parties and ensure a speedy resolution of the dispute at minimal cost, and enables consideration of issues of a commercial, cultural, ethical, historical, moral, religious or spiritual nature, as well as customary laws and protocols.  ICOM and WIPO are offering a number of introductory seminars in Paris for museums interested in making use of the service, beginning on 12 September.  ICOM

Collections Link re-launched

The Collections Trust has re-launched Collections Link, a website for everything to do with collections in museums, archives, libraries and galleries.  Collections Link brings together resources, networks, case studies, suppliers and training opportunities. It also now includes social tools to make it easier for cultural professionals, students, volunteers and teachers to connect, collaborate and share their knowledge and expertise.  The re-launch is the beginning of an ambitious development plan for Collections Link: the coming months will see a host of new content including features on the expertise of leading cultural institutions; a Learning Platform to support training and professional development and guidance; and support material for the new Museum Accreditation Scheme.  The site is free to use, with support from the MLA and Museums Galleries Scotland.  Collections Link

European Year of Volunteering project for arts and culture

Arts & Business has been selected as an official partner of the Office for Civil Society as part of the European Year of Volunteering and will lead the project for the arts and culture in England.  The project aims to recruit a new generation of people willing to give their time to the arts.  Arts & Business plans to leverage its business network to offer volunteers who can advise and help on topics such as marketing to business planning, IT and accountancy, as well as helping front of house or wherever arts and cultural organisations might need extra support.  Arts organisations can register their volunteering requests now on the Arts & Business website.  Art & Business is holding six 'matchmaking' events across England to introduce prospective volunteers to the arts and cultural organisations in their area, beginning with an event in London on 13 September.  Arts & Business will also be running a targeted campaign to increase interest in volunteering generally in the arts and culture, and holding events to thank volunteers.  Arts & Business

AHRC announces £16m investment in Knowledge Hubs for Creative Economy

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has announced details of four ‘Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy’, the major focus of AHRC’s new knowledge exchange and impact strategy for 2011-2015.  The University of Lancaster; the University of Dundee; Queen Mary, University of London; and the University of the West of England will each lead consortia that will include other universities, creative businesses (including SMEs), arts and culture organisations, and other agencies.  Partners will include BBC, Microsoft, TATE Liverpool, British Museum, V&A, The National Archives, SAGE Gateshead, all of the Scottish art colleges and other industry partners including IBM and Bellemedia. The Hubs represent an investment by the AHRC of some £16m in the period 2011-2015 (and a £20m investment if the contribution of the universities is included). The Hubs will be charged with the task of building new partnerships and entrepreneurial capacity in the creative economy, and increasing the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.  AHRC has said the investment “reflects the significant benefits that arts and humanities researchers bring to the creative businesses of the UK."  AHRC

London Cultural Improvement Programme web resources

The London Cultural Improvement Programme, funding for which ended in March, was a phased and multi-stranded programme that supported local authorities to maximise the impact of cultural services.  The Programme is now in the process of winding up operations and legacy development.  As part of this, the resources developed through the programme have now been made available online including resources from advocacy and information sharing events, programme toolkits, reports on match-funding and case studies.  London Councils back to top


Visits to free visitor attractions up by 6%

Visit England has published the latest results of its 2010 annual survey of visits to visitor attractions.  Visits to free attractions rose by 6%, while visits to venues with admission charges declined by 2%, making an overall increase of 3% to all visitor attractions.  The increase in visits was largely fuelled by free museums including increases of 15.8% to the V&A, 13.2% to Natural History Museum and 10.9% Tate Britain.  All of the top ten free visitor attractions are national museums.  Across the country, there was a 5% increase in museum visits compared to 2009.  1,802 attractions submitted data including 642 museums.  The cost of admission tickets to charging venues rose by an average of 5% in 2010.   The increase in visit numbers came despite a decline in visits to England for the purposes of a holiday or visiting friends/family in 2010: a 6% decline in trips with an overnight stay(s) made by England residents within England and a 1% decline in inbound visits to the UK made by overseas visitors.  Visit England

This Cultural and Sporting Life: The Taking Part 2010/11 report

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published a detailed report on participation in culture and sport from 2005-11, expanding on and complementing the latest Statistical Release from the Taking Part survey published in June 2011.  The report also looks at some of the other measures in the survey that provide estimates of volunteering and charitable giving and civic engagement.  Headline figures include: Museum visits
  • Between 2005/06 and 2010/11, the proportion of people visiting a museum, gallery or archive in the last year increased from 42.3% to 47.5%.  The proportion visiting heritage sites and engaging with the arts remained steady. Over the same period, the proportion of people visiting a public library declined (from 48.2% to 39.7%);
  • People who live in rural areas are just as likely those in urban areas to have visited a museum, gallery or archive in the last year, but there are variations by region. In 2010/11, 54.2% of people in London and 50.6% of people in the South East visited a museum, compared to 41.1% in the East Midlands. The biggest growth in museum participation has been in the North West, increasing from 40.4% to 50.1% between 2005/6 and 2010-11;
  • In 2010/11, 64.7% of children had visited a museum in the last 12 months: 67.6% of 5-10 year olds and 60.7% of 11-15 year olds. This has remained steady since 2008/09;
  • People who had visited a museum as a child were significantly more likely to visit museums as an adult.  57.7% of all adults had visited a museum as a child (aged 11-15). Among those who had visited as a child, 58% also visited as an adult. Meanwhile, among those adults who had not visited a museum or gallery as child, a smaller proportion (33.3%) had visited as an adult.
  • In 2010/11, 24.2% of adults had volunteered and, of these, 31.8% had volunteered within DCMS sectors.
Charitable giving
  • In 2010/11, 88.4% of adults had donated money in the last 12 months with 33.0% donating to a DCMS sector;
  • The DCMS sectors with the highest proportion of charitable giving were heritage, with 16.0% of people donating to this sector, and museums and galleries with 15.2%.
Digital participation
  • The percentage of people visiting museum and gallery websites to find out about or order tickets for an exhibition or event increased from 47.9% in 2005/06 to 54.5% in 2010/11, whereas the percentage looking at items from a collection dropped from 33.7 to 22.3% during the same period;
  • In 2010/11, 47.4% of adults had been to a museum or gallery, whereas 49.9% of adults had been in person or participated digitally. Just 2.5% of adults had only digitally participated in museums and galleries.
Funding for the next 4 years of Taking Part has been secured. The most notable change to the next wave of Taking Part is the addition of a longitudinal panel of adults and children.  DCMS

Understanding the drivers for volunteering in culture and sport

The Culture and Sport Evidence (CASE) programme - a three-year joint programme of research led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in collaboration with leading strategic bodies - has published its latest analysis of the Taking Part Survey data, looking at the key drivers of volunteering in the heritage, sports, arts, museums, libraries and archives sectors. The study identified a number of statistically significant factors related to volunteering across all the sectors - there was a higher level of volunteering amongst men, younger people and white people. Those with better health tended to be more likely to volunteer, and higher levels of volunteering were generally associated with lower levels of deprivation.  DCMS

Assessing the impact of cultural and sporting investment

The CASE programme has also released a research report on the feasibility of using existing secondary data sources to determine the social and economic benefits and impacts of investments made in culture and sport.  The Art of the Possible looked at international practice and found that impact analysis that relied on primary data was restrained because the collection of primary data is time consuming and resource intensive.  Secondary indicators that could be used to evaluate the impact of investment in culture include property prices and local business start-ups and closures, as well as tourism data.  DCMS.

The subsidised arts: a training ground for the creative industries?

Creative & Cultural Skills, supported by NESTA and Arts Council England, is commissioning research to examine the hypothesis that the subsidised arts and cultural sector serves as a training ground for the commercial creative industries.  The research will provide a quantitative analysis of movement of talent between the subsidised arts and cultural sector and the creative industries, and explore the motivations that individuals have for crossing over from the subsidised arts and culture to the creative industries.  An invitation to tender for the work has been issued and the project is due to be completed by January 2012.  CCSkills 

International comparisons of public engagement in culture and sport

New research published by DCMS uses Eurobarometer, Eurostat and other data to compare Great Britain with other European countries in relation to public engagement in sport and culture.  Key findings include:
  • Both cultural attendance and sports participation in Great Britain are higher than the average for Europe;
  • Higher rates of personal fulfilment are found for those that attend all kinds of culture, compared to those that do not;
  • Rates of attendance between countries seem to be related to levels of government spend on culture, even once population differences are controlled for, although improved data and country contextualisation are required to substantiate this.  DCMS

New research into how museums can measure online success

Culture 24 will launch the findings of an action research project, How to Evaluate Online Success, at a conference in Bristol later this month.  The project, which has involved many of the UK's national museums, aims to revolutionise the way the sector thinks about its digital output, the audiences it reaches and the ways in which success is measured.  The Let’s Get Real conference on 20-21 September includes speakers from Google Creative Lab, helpdesks and workshops as well as “falling forward” lessons from project partners.  Culture 24 


MLA has published the latest statistical data on the Renaissance in the Regions programme, showing that there were 18.8m visits to Renaissance museums in 2010-11, up from 15.8m in 2008-9.  The total included 5.17m visits by children and 3.68m visits by priority groups. 1.6m children and adults participated in on-site activity.  MLA    back to top


Fort Nelson redevelopment unveiled

The Royal Armouries has unveiled its new museum facilities at Fort Nelson in Hampshire.  The Victorian Fort has undergone a £3.5m redevelopment over the past year to create new galleries, including the glass-sided The Voice of the Guns gallery, a new education centre and visitor centre with cafe.  The museum's displays trace the development of artillery from pre-gunpowder siege machines to modern-day super guns.  The project was supported by a £2m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  More

New BBC and V&A Partnership

The BBC and V&A have announced a major new partnership to present a season of programming on BBC Four exploring the history of making in Britain. Handmade in Britain will be the most wide-ranging and ambitious exploration of the decorative arts ever to be undertaken on British television, and over the next year will comprise  three three-part series and three individual hour-long films, focusing on a wide variety of art and design disciplines.  V&A objects will be used to highlight groundbreaking technical innovations and tell stories about the social, political and cultural climate of Britain at the time the objects were made.  To complement the programmes, the V&A will host a series of events and will create online content and an in-gallery mobile experience.  A publication will also be produced by V&A Publishing in Autumn 2012.  BBC  

Huge visitor numbers following major museums openings

Over 100,000 people visited the newly redeveloped National Museum of Scotland in the first six days after it opened on 29 July, including 6,000 in the first hour of opening.  In Liverpool, the new Museum of Liverpool received more than 250,000 visits in the first four weeks after it opened on 19 July, with an average of 8,300 people a day through the doors.  The Museum had predicted 78,000 visitors in the first month.  National Museums Scotland    National Museums Liverpool

Museum of London and Nokia introduce innovative mobile technology

The Museum of London has become one of the first public locations in London to start using Near Field Communication (NFC), a new mobile phone technology which allows users to share information with a simple tap of a device.  NFC, used in Oyster Cards in London, transmits data faster than QR codes and Bluetooth.  Museum visitors with NFC-enable devices will be able to learn more about various objects on display, buy tickets for future exhibitions, access vouchers for the Museum’s shop and café and interact via social media platforms.  Nokia has helped to bring the new technology to the museum’s two venues – the Museum of London and Museum of Docklands.  Nokia’s NFC Hub works with organisations to help them adopt the technology, create custom-built NFC campaigns and develop tags.  Museum of London

Replica rhino horns stolen from Natural History Museum at Tring

Two rhino horns were targeted in a theft at the Natural History Museum at Tring, Hertfordshire at 4.30am on 27 August.  However, the thieves only got away with resin replicas, which were torn from the 110-year-old specimens.  The Natural History Museum in London and Tring had recently replaced all of the horns on display with hand-crafted replicas in response to a spate of break-ins at museums and institutions across Europe.  Rhino horn is worth more than gold and diamonds in illegal markets, where it is sold for use in some traditional medicines in Asia or as trophies.  A New York Times article reports that there have been as many as 30 similar thefts so far this year from museums, galleries, antiques dealerships, auction houses and homes across Europe.  The article published on 26 August, the day before the Tring theft, also reports that the Natural History Museum had replaced its rhino horns with replicas. A horn was also horn stolen from Ipswich Museum on 28 July.  Museum managers have pointed out that the Victorians used arsenic among other preservers on rhino horns so this haul might prove worthless.  NHM  New York Times   Ipswich Museum

British Library launches Leonardo da Vinci notebook in HD on iPad

The British Library has launched a groundbreaking ‘eBook Treasures’ series which will allow iPad users to download entire ancient manuscripts.  Each eBook will allow users to view the manuscript in High Definition, with award-winning realistic page turning, and access additional content and in-depth detail about the item such as written, video and audio interpretation.  The first publication will be Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Arundel (1478-1518). 75 titles will be available over the next two years.  The eBooks have been developed with Armadillo Systems who developed the original Turning the Pages software. More BiblioLabs, LLC and the British Library have also launched their British Library 19th Century Historical Collection App for iPad making over 45,000 19th-century titles available to subscribers.  For a monthly fee, subscribers are able to explore historical and antiquarian books that range from classic novels to original accounts by Victorian travellers, and from science and exploration to poetry, memoir and military history.  More


National Galleries of Scotland and Tate have announced plans for the fourth successive ARTIST ROOMS Tour in 2012, supported by £250,000 funding from the Art Fund and additional assistance, in Scotland, from the Scottish Government.  In 2012, a total of 19 new exhibitions and displays will go on show at 17 venues across the UK.  The works being shown are drawn from ARTIST ROOMS, the collection of modern and contemporary art established through the extraordinary gift made by Anthony d’Offay in 2008, held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland for the nation.  More The Victoria & Albert Museum has implemented a new collections management system, Museum Index+, as part of a three year programme to transform the way the museum manages the collection and delivers the public programme.  This includes a review of collections management procedures, such as acquisitions and rights management, and the development of ‘electronic workflow’ in the new system to enable efficient working practices. back to top


Cultural Sector responds to planning proposals

The campaign to urge the Government to rethink its proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has gained strength over recent weeks, generating considerable media coverage and debate.  The National Trust is calling for changes to the proposed presumption in favour of ‘sustainable development’ to ensure that “the economic, environmental and social benefits of development go hand in hand and that in the future it will not become possible to see damaging development pushed through on narrow economic ground alone.”  English Heritage has also expressed concern about the impact the changes will have on listed and historic buildings.  The Telegraph reported on 6 August that Planning Minister Bob Neill MP had described the actions of the National Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England as “a carefully choreographed smear campaign by left-wingers based within the national headquarters of pressure group,” a charge strongly refuted by the Chairs of both organisations.  The Government consultation closes on the 17th October.  As we reported in last month, the Theatres Trust sent out an urgent call to the cultural sector at the beginning of August to respond to the omission of culture, the arts and theatres in the Government’s NPPF consultation paper.  The Theatres Trust has now prepared a paper to inform and guide those who wish to contribute to the consultation.  DCLG Consultation      Theatres Trust   National Trust Telegraph.  Meanwhile, the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee have launched inquiries into the NPPF.  Questions include whether the definition of 'sustainable development' contained in the document is appropriate, and whether the presumption in favour of sustainable development is a balanced and workable approach.  The deadline for submission of evidence is 9 SeptemberCLG Committee     Environment Committee  

£1.9 million boost for volunteering

Volunteering England has been awarded a £1.9m Big Lottery Fund grant over three years to help communities most affected by the recession by stimulating volunteering.  The project will be delivered by fifteen Volunteer Centres across England. It will use volunteering to engage those furthest from the job market and to assist them in utilising their skills and talents to help their local communities.  The project will be evaluated and assessed by the Institute of Volunteering Research and Birkbeck, University of London.  Volunteering England

Future Libraries Programme identifies four options for survival

The Local Government Group and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council have published a joint report on the future of libraries.  The publication, Future Libraries: Change, options and how to get there, follows a project to support 36 library authorities in developing innovative ways to modernise services.  Four options for helping to ensure the survival of libraries in the 21st century have been identified by Future Libraries Programme pilots:
  • Running libraries in partnership with the private sector, charities and other councils;
  • Extending the reach and range of library services by integrating them with other community facilities like churches, shops and village halls and providing public services such as health centres and the police surgeries in existing libraries;
  • Sharing services like back offices and mobile libraries with neighbouring local authorities to make stretched resources go further; and
  • Giving library users the ability to play a more active role in running library services themselves.
The findings of the Future Libraries Programme will now be shared among councils across the country through seminars and development of expert guidance.  ACE has confirmed its commitment to continuing the Future Libraries programme and Future Libraries 2 will run from this autumn until the end of March 2013.  Further details of this two stage programme will be announced in September.  MLA  Arts Council   

Shaping the future – for heritage, for everyone!

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has published a summary of its analysis of the 2000 responses submitted to HLF's consultation on its strategic framework for 2013-19: Shaping the future – for heritage, for everyone!  Overall, there was no strong appetite for major changes in the current balance of HLF funding between targeted and open programmes, nor for giving any greater priority to protecting past investment over supporting new projects.  However, respondents did want HLF to give clear priority to heritage identified as being at risk.  87% of respondents agreed HLF should continue to support the full breadth of the UK’s heritage, and 69% agreed the organisation should continue to fund the full range of projects it currently supports, from small community heritage initiatives to major transformational capital projects.  The consultation produced the strongest endorsement for a simpler grants programme for small grants under £10,000.  Almost two-thirds of respondents supported the suggestion that HLF should extend its role in building the financial sustainability of voluntary heritage organisations, and the consultation endorsed HLF playing a stronger role in encouraging a culture of giving of time and money from private supporters of heritage.  HLF will publish its new strategy in full, with details of its funding portfolio for 2013-2019, next spring.  HLF  

Visit England’s top five tips for improving accessibility

29 August marked one year to go before the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and Visit England took the opportunity to issue ‘top five tips’ for how the tourism industry can improve accessibility: 1.       Understand the business case for improving accessibility; 2.       Create your own access statement using VisitEngland’s free online tool; 3.       Understand how you can profit through Accessible Tourism; 4.       Find no-cost business improvements you can action quickly; and 5.       Gain confidence through customer service training.  VisitEngland  

Big Lottery Fund - Consultation on proposed policy directions

The Cabinet Office has launched a consultation on proposed policy directions for the Big Lottery Fund (BIG).  Policy responsibility for the Big Lottery Fund transferred from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to the Cabinet Office in April this year.  The new policy direction sets out three priorities that BIG funded projects must address, replacing the 22 priority areas set out in the previous policy direction in 2006.  These new priorities are
  • Encouraging social involvement in communities and removing barriers;
  • Strengthening the capacity of voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises;
  • Strengthening and increasing the capacity of the social investment market for supporting public benefit and social action.
BIG will also need to ensure distribution of funds to a “reasonably wide spread of projects, primarily those delivered by the voluntary and community sector and social enterprises, including small organisations, those organisations operating at a purely local level, newly constituted organisations, organisations operating as social enterprises and organisations with a base in the United Kingdom and working overseas.”  Deadline for responses to the consultation is Friday 18 November.  Cabinet Office


Arts Council England has published the criteria it will use to assess "Exceptional Talent" for UK visa applications.  As we reported last month, Arts Council England and PACT have been assigned a total of 300 visas to allocate for Tier 1 route of entry in the current financial year Arts Council The Creative Industries Council has launched a consultation on skills issues facing the UK's creative industries.  The consultation will inform the work of the CIC’s Skillset Group to highlight good practice and identify proposals for addressing skills and talent issues to boost the growth and competitiveness of the creative industries in the UK.  The consultation runs until 23 September 2011.  CIC Skillset back to top


Radical overall of informal adult learning

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published a consultation on 16 August on its plans to implement its “radical reform of adult learning and skills provision” in England.  New Challenges, New Changes aims to enable colleges to respond more effectively to the needs of their local communities and secure "a fairer balance of investment between learners, employers and taxpayers.”  The plans include measures to “refocus Government support for informal adult and community learning.”  The proposals give more detail on how key parts of the Government’s strategy for further education and skills, published last November, will be implemented.  The consultation runs until 21 October.  BIS  

Consultation on Transparency and Open Data Strategy

The Cabinet Office has launched a consultation on the Government's proposed Transparency and Open Data Strategy, which aims to "embed a culture of openness and transparency in our public services."  The consultation seeks the public’s views on establishing stronger rights for individuals and businesses to obtain data from public service providers; setting transparency standards that enforce this right to data; holding public service providers to account for delivering open data and making the internal workings of government and the public sector more open.  The deadline for responses is 27 October.  Cabinet Office

National asset map to identify savings for Councils and Public Bodies

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, announced on 5 August that councils and other public bodies should publish asset lists that will help to identify billions of pounds of potential savings and protect frontline services.  A 'demo' map based on 11 pilot projects locates over 180,000 assets owned by almost 600 public sector bodies, including central Government and 87 councils.  DCLG


The Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee has announced an inquiry into the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and the Government’s response to the Review.  Last month we reported that NMDC had welcomed the Government’s decision to implement all ten recommendations made by Professor Hargreaves.  More back to top


Museum works of art lost after Oslo bombings

The Art Newspaper reports that many works from Norway's Nasjonalmuseet (National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design) and Public Art Norway are missing following the bombing of Government buildings in Oslo on 22 July.  The buildings damaged in the bombing contained works by artists including Munch, Christian Krohg and Anne Katrine Dolven.  Some 43 pieces loaned by the Nasjonalmuseet and 73 from Public Art Norway are missing.  Some of the buildings are still unsafe to enter.  Art Newspaper

Met and MOMA raise admission charges to $25

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York both announced in July that for reasons of economic necessity, the price of museum admission will rise to $25 for adults. At the Met this is a "recommended" price rather than compulsory.  Citing the challenges of the current economic climate Thomas P Campbell, Director of the Met said: "Since the average cost to the Museum of each visitor is $40, we believe it is fair and, above all, necessary, to increase recommended admission levels at this time." MOMA   Metropolitan Museum

Stolen Rubens painting recovered in Greece

BBC News reports that a painting by the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens that was stolen a decade ago in Belgium has been recovered in Greece.  Police said the artwork dated from 1618, but did not give the name of the work or provide further details.  Two people, both Greek, have been arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen goods but are not thought to be the original thieves.  The painting could be The Calydonian Boar Hunt stolen from the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent.  BBC News


The Smithsonian Museum has issued a statement on the damage its buildings and collections sustained during the earthquake that hit Washington DC on 23 August. The most serious structural damage was to the Smithsonian Castle Building on the National Mall and a storage facility.  At the National Museum of Natural History fifty jars of scientific specimens preserved in alcohol at the fell from their shelves and smashed. The specimens have been collected and re-secured within 24 hours of the quake.  More back to top



The Prime Minister has made the following appointments to the Boards of national museums:
  • Professor Dame Athene Donald, Andreas Goss, Lord Grade and Professor Ludmilla Jordanova appointed as Trustees to the Board of the National Museum of Science and Industry;
  • Jonathan Watkins, Director of Ikon Gallery, appointed to the Board of the Imperial War Museum;
  • John Micklethwait, Editor-in-chief of the Economist, appointed to the Board of the British Museum
  • C. Allegra Berman, Investment Banker at UBS Investment Bank, appointed to the Board of the National Portrait Gallery
  • Mark Getty reappointed as a Trustee of the National Gallery.  Mr Getty is also Chairman of the Gallery’s Board of Trustees;
  • Sir John Ritblat, reappointed as the Chairman of the Trustees of The Wallace CollectionThe Duke of Devonshire CBE, Jasper Conran OBE, Jagdip Jagpal, Adrian Sassoon, and Dr Richard Dorment reappointed as Trustees of the Wallace Collection;
  • Lord Browne of Madingley and Ms Monisha Shah reappointed as Trustees of the Tate Gallery. More
John Penrose MP, the Minister for Tourism and Heritage, has appointed Baroness Young OBE; Professor Peter Draper; Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence KCVO, CB, ADC; Martin Moore; and Graham Morrison as Commissioners of English HeritageMore The Board of Trustees of the Imperial War Museum has appointed Sir Francis Richards KCMG CVO as its new Chairman.  He will succeed Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire with effect from 19 December 2011.  Sir Francis retired from the post of Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Gibraltar in 2006. Prior to this, he was Director of GCHQ and Deputy Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  He has been a Trustee of the Museum since April 2007 and Deputy Chair since December 2009.  For the past five years, he has been chairman of the trustees of Bletchley Park.  IWM

ACE Leadership and Organisational Development

Arts Council England has appointed Ginny Spittle as Director, Leadership and Organisational Development.  She will lead a newly formed team whose key task will be to develop and implement leadership and organisational development initiatives designed to help arts organisations and regional museums become more sustainable businesses and so better able to deliver against the Arts Council’s mission of “achieving great art for everyone.”  Ms Spittle was previously Head of Global Resourcing and Development for the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies and more recently has operated as an independent management consultant and board adviser specialising in organisation effectiveness, including change management, leadership development and board performance and governance.


The British Library has appointed Maja Maricevic as Head of Higher Education.  She was previously higher education consultant at the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.  More  back to top

Our jobs website, also has details of current vacancies at leading museums around the UK including:
  • Digitisation Project Manager, Europeana 1914-18, British Library
  • Management Accountant, The National Archives
  • Head of Individual Giving, V&A
  • Records Manager, National Portrait Gallery
  • Group Sales Manager, Museum of London
  • Preventative Conservator, National Galleries of Scotland
  • Director of Estates & Facilities Management, National Museums Scotland
For details of these jobs and many more visit

And finally...

What's Eating the Museum on BBC Radio 4 on 31 August featured experts from the V&A, Museum of London, Pitt Rivers Museum, and Dover Castle discussing how museums are “waging war” against the insect pests threatening their collections.  BBC back to top  

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