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Hartwig Fischer to Lead British Museum


Via / Christopher D. Shea

Hartwig FischerCredit Matthias Hiekel/European Pressphoto Agency

Hartwig Fischer, the current director of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden, Germany, is set to become the new director of the British Museum, one of the most prominent museum leadership roles in the world, The Times of London reported on Friday.

He will be the first non-Briton to hold the museum’s top role since the 19th century.

The newspaper broke the news of Mr. Fischer’s appointment early on Friday morning. The museum has still not confirmed the appointment: A spokeswoman reached by phone said that the museum could not officially confirm the news until the appointment process had been completed, a process that requires several further steps, including approval from Prime Minister David Cameron.

Dr. Fischer currently serves as the director of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, a group of prominent state-run galleries in the city. The museum group includes the Grüne Gewölbe, a collection of rare treasures collected from across the world; and the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, a prominent painting collection that includes artworks by Rembrandt, Rubens and other major European names.

Dr. Fischer, who was born in 1962, earned a doctorate from the University of Bonn in 1994. He served as the director of the Museum Folwang in Essen, Germany before moving to Dresden. He co-curated a Kandinsky exhibition at Tate Modern in 2006, but has few other British credits to his name.

In April, the British Museum announced that Neil MacGregor, who oversaw a transformation of the museum into the second most-visited museum in the world after the Louvre, would retire from his post of museum director in December. Mr. MacGregor will lead the board of the Humboldt Forum, a major cultural center planned for Berlin’s Mitte district.

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