Thursday, June 22, 2006

Amréus to Head Museum

A year ago, Kristian Berg resigned from the post as director of the Museum of National Antiquities (Historiska museet) in Stockholm. He was a controversial leader who made few friends and many enemies, the latter including most Swedes who care about archaeology and the ambassador of Israel. The main problem with Berg was that he seemed completely uninterested in archaeology and Medieval art, which are the museum's areas of responsibility, while working very diligently in the interest of political correctness and utility. Another problem was a cold, hard & nasty leadership style. I wasn't one of his fans.

Berg's former deputy Lars Amréus has been provisional director for a year. Rumor has it that the job has been offered to a number of archaeologists who have turned it down when seeing what the museum's staff situation is like after Berg's years at the helm. And today the papers report that Amréus has been given the job.

I'd be leery of anyone who could work for so long and so closely with Berg, but I hear good things about Amréus from the museum staff. He's much nicer, he's an archaeologist, he's more of an unassuming plain-vanilla museum director. Unlikely to piss people off. The museum has just received a lot of money for basic cataloguing work, and archaeologists are once more seen in its corridors. All Amréus has to do now is replace Berg's exhibitions department, which is currently entirely staffed by non-archaeologists.

So, I'm optimistic: good luck Lars! (But what do I really know: I was optimistic about Kristian Berg as well at first.)

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