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British Museum hints at ‘complete reimagination’ and a net zero carbon future

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The future for the British Museum could be very different indeed. That was the message from the organisation’s chair George Osborne in his annual speech to Trustees last month, in which he announced a “complete reimagination” of the museum, under a billion-pound masterplan that will be revealed next year.

Among the hints of potential loans of its exhibits, leading to further speculation over the Parthenon marbles, was one explicit promise on energy. “Our goal is to be a net zero carbon museum,” said Osborne, “no longer a destination for climate protest but instead an example of climate solution”.

If that’s the future, however, it hasn’t arrived yet. On Sunday, the museum’s Great Court was once again the scene of a protest by climate campaigners, the latest in a long succession of actions calling on the institution to drop its longtime sponsor BP. Activists from the group BP or not BP? chanted and held banners that read “Drop BP”.

“This must be the last BP-sponsored exhibition at the British Museum,” said Lydia, a spokesperson for the group. “I’m…



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