British Museum director Hartwig Fischer describes the institution he oversees:
“Everyone who knows me knows I come from a European background and that Europe, as it developed after the catastrophe of the wars is something very important and precious to me. The museum has a lot to offer to help people to contemplate and reflect on what the right decisions should be without taking a direct political stance. It’s there as a space to think, reflect, debate.”
And shouldn’t he know? He was raised in Hamburg, studied in Italy and France, and has worked in Switzerland as well as Germany; his wife is a psychotherapist in Paris.
“Whoever comes in here and crosses the threshold is not a foreigner. There are no foreigners here. This is a world country, this museum. While at the same time we recognise that this is a British creation, to which the cultures of all the world have contributed.”
What a wonderful thought.