British Museum's Reputation Has Been `Damaged' by Great Court Stone Bungle
David Lister Media and Culture Editor, The Independent (London, England)
THE REPUTATION of the British Museum has been damaged by its purchase of the wrong stone for the new pounds 100m Great Court, according to a damning report commissioned by the museum.
The report from the accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers clears the museum of a "cover-up" but lists a catalogue of errors and criticises the management for the way it was "deceived" by a firm of South Coast stonemasons, for the way it failed to record properly its business dealings, and for the lack of liaison between management and trustees.
The Government ordered the museum to commission the report and publish it, which it did on its website yesterday. But there was no announcement to the media, and a casual visitor to the website would not have found the report without knowing where to look.
The museum spent pounds 1.74m on the South Portico of the Great Court, but was, according to the report, hoodwinked into buying French stone, which does not blend with its surroundings, rather than Portland Stone from the Dorset stonemasons.
Sir Jocelyn Stevens, a former English Heritage chairman, has called on Graham Greene, the chairman of the British Museum, to resign. …