Earlier this month, it was reported that British government officials had attempted to block the British Museum’s board from appointing classicist Mary Beard as a trustee after she espoused pro-Europe views. But now, the board has acted in defiance of those recommendations and added the prominent University of Cambridge professor as a trustee of the London museum, anyway.
According to a report by the Guardian, the institution’s board chose to give Beard seat following former United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May’s alleged efforts last year to reject her for the role. Beard had voiced support for efforts to keep the U.K. part of the European Union in the period leading up to Brexit.
“It was a visit to the BM which first inspired me to work on the ancient world,” Beard told the Guardian. “I have been a huge beneficiary of this and other museums in the country over the past 60 years, and am now delighted to be able to give something back.”
Beard will remain on the British Museum’s board for at least four years. A representative for Downing Street told the British news agency PA Media that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration “is delighted to see Mary Beard appointed and has no reservations over her appointment, which should have happened sooner.”
The controversy surrounding Beard’s appointment to the British Museum’s board is one of many that the institution has weathered over the past few months. In February, the activist group BP or Not BP brought a 13-foot tall Trojan horse to the institution to bring attention to its relationship with the oil company, and calls for the museum’s repatriation of Greek antiquities have grown louder.