Hartwig Fischer: the British Museum’s new director


I’ve always been excited to walk into this
museum walking into the building and realising it’s
free You don’t have to get a ticket, you just
walk in, it’s all yours and then you walk towards the light, glorious
moment into the Great Court, and then discovering
on the floor an inscription that tells you a lot of what
this museum is about ‘And let thy feet, millenniums hence, be
set in midst of knowledge’. This is the gallery of Enlightenment The last time I came here there was a couple moving along with me, very slowly looking
at everything and they didn’t seem very happy, they were
quite grumpy in fact until they came here, to look at the William
Allen box a wonderful little case, full of Roman objects I stood on the other side of the case and
I looked at them because they had intrigued me and I saw their faces lighting up, both had
a wonderful smile looking at these objects, discussing these
objects and I thought this was a perfect image of
what it means to be in this museum and engage with the objects The British Museum is about the past but it’s also about the present and it collects meaningful objects of our
own times and this is one, it’s one of the most impressive It’s the so-called Lampedusa Cross It’s a donation by the man who made this
cross, Francesco Tuccio And he made this cross out of the remnants
of those boats with which refugees crossed the Mediterranean to flee their countries, to come to Europe It tells us a story about the fate of humankind
and the challenges we meet today and the question of hospitality and shelter that we can give others in hardship In a way the museum itself is a place of hospitality
and shelter it is the repository of objects that have
lost their world This is one of the best known bits of the
Gilgamesh epic It’s the 11th tablet of the Gilgamesh epic Originally it was in three columns and there
are serious lacunae in various places and valiant research by Smith and one or two
other people afterwards have found some bits that fill in the gaps Whether this piece is here somewhere in the
museum remains to be seen, it’s quite possible. So, what we have in front of us is the metaphor
of what we do at the museum We piece together the remnants of cultures
of the past and try to read their texts, try to make sense
of them. I think that’s exactly right People who feel passionate about this place
and endow it with important works with important objects, are key to the life
of this institution But it’s not only about donating objects,
it’s not only about giving sponsorship enabling us to do research and doing beautiful
exhibitions everybody coming into this place makes a donation of his time, of her attention, of her passion and his engagement And we count on this So we hope to see you again very soon, and
very often.

10 thoughts on “Hartwig Fischer: the British Museum’s new director

  1. I'm happy this channel brings us so intimately inside the museum and so close to the staff.
    I probably wont ever get the chance to visit but this channels makes that a little less of a tragedy.

  2. Dr. Hartwig Fischer: Felicitaciones por su labor encomiable en tan renombrada Institución y que nuevas perspectivas abran mas las puertas del saber y del quehacer cotidiano del Museo a todos los que habitamos en otras latitudes del mundo. Muchos éxitos y que nos siga informando como en el vídeo y otros medios de toda novedad que se presente en el Museo. Jose Sierra.

  3. ( 2:20 ) correction : It is the repository of objects that have been removed from their world. their world is there waiting for these '' lost '' objects… if only you would be kind enough to send them on their way home.

  4. Admission is free?? That's fantastic! I will never be able to go bit it is still fantastic. If I lived near there I would be in danger of becoming a permanent fixture.

  5. Doesn't he know the men who work at the British Museum have to have messy hair. One of the most magical museums I have ever been to in the world.

  6. I just visit the Acropolis and I really wish the British Museum would restore the stolen and brutalised artefact from the Parthenon where they belong. Showing the Elgin marbles out of context in a foreign and colonialist museum does not deserve the art. I would have like to express my views on the video about the Parthenon but this channel have block all comments on the Parthenon marbles video. I’m canadian and a frequent traveler in Europe, I have no taste to visit the British museum.

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