Greeks have been contesting the British Museum’s ownership of the Parthenon marbles since the 19th century, and a new appointment will explore the country’s claims.
The new role of the specific curator responsible for researching the history of artefacts in the museum will focus on the background of the 267-year-old collection.
Isobel MacDonald has held this new post since last March, however has yet to work due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
The purpose of her role will be to analyse the history of the museum’s collection though a British Museum spokeswoman says “it is not the purpose of this role to examine the specific histories of contested objects”.
Ms MacDonald, however will look at research which lead to the museum’s acquisition as she looks “at the wider patterns of how different types of objects from different parts of the world entered the collection and place those in a broader historical context.”
Part of the research in this project will be published.
Ms MacDonald was a teaching assistant in art history at the University of Glasgow prior to this role. Her doctorate there had been on William Burrell (1861-1958) as a collector.