Jan Picton: Petrie Museum as we know it under threat
Petrie Museum as we know it under threatPLEASE READ - MOST IMPORTANT
The Petrie Museum as we know it is under threat
I include a link to an information page about proposed restructuring of the Petrie Museum and the rest of UCL Culture. The proposals will fundamentally change the museum's role as we know it.
This proposal fails to recognise the global importance of the collection as one of the most important – and largest – collections of Egyptian material outside Egypt as demonstrated by the number of international visits we get from researchers, and the museum's Art Council Designation as a collection of national and international significance. The Petrie Museum will effectively cease to be a centre of research excellence despite UCL's claim to be one of the top universities in the world – 'London's Global University'!
That's not what the proposal says, but with the redundancy of the museum manager (Maria), Visitor Services Officer (Tracey) and replacement with centralised all-purpose officers, and the loss (without replacement) of the Senior Conservator (Susi) who has cared for the collection so vigilantly, it can do nothing else. The museum assistant will also be transferred to a centralised pool shared across collections, so that will leave Anna as the sole fixed person within the museum.
A number of verbal assurances have been made about the position of the Friends within the new structure but this is not reflected in the Business Plan as proposed. The objective to make the museum a commercially rentable space and the lack of a dedicated museum assistant and visitor services officer can only reduce our access.
Here is the link to the summary of events and attached documents prepared by Professor Joe Cain which explains why this is a disaster for teaching within the University. It contains links to the Business Plan and other documents, but please do not sign the petition unless you are an academic who uses the collection. https://uclculture.wordpress.com/ Lucia and I, with the Committee, will send in a response on behalf of the Friends. At this time I would suggest that as Friends of the Petrie Museum you hold fire on any private response unless you feel very strongly that you should. You may prefer to wait for the letter I have sent to the Egypt Electronic Forum and respond to that.
When the internal consultation process ends on the 13th we can make a decision about how to proceed, and set up our own petition if necessary.