Curating colonialism: Reflections on Osborne’s appointment to chair ‘Brutish’ Museum

Last Thursday, George Osborne, former Chancellor of Exchequer, was unanimously appointed the new chair of the British Museum’s board of trustees. This position is not government-appointed, however given his high-status role in the Cameron cabinet and in the Conservative party more broadly, the decision has garnered considerable controversy. It has fed into an ongoing debate over the state’s role in the curation of a white supremacist British self-image, particularly with regards to cultural restitution, the display of stolen items, and national profit from colonial legacies.