The BECM left its Bristol base in 2008

Commonwealth museum appoints interim chief

Gareth Harris, Issue 111/09, p9, 01.09.2011
Police investigation into missing objects ongoing
The beleaguered British Empire and Commonwealth Museum (BECM), which closed its Bristol base in 2008, has hired an interim chief executive while a police investigation is underway into the alleged unauthorised disposal of objects from the collection.

The museum’s chair of trustees, Neil Cossons, confirmed that John Mott, the new chief executive, has put together a new business plan for the institution, covering issues such as corporate hire of the Grade I-listed museum at the former Temple Meads railway station.

Cossons also said that relocating the museum to London, a proposal first put forward in 2008, is no longer an option in the “current financial circumstances”.

He declined to comment on whether the Bristol building would reopen. Mott replaces the BECM’s former director Gareth Griffiths, who was dismissed from his post in March.

Griffiths’s solicitors said in a statement: “Any objects were disposed with the knowledge and agreement of the trustees.”

A police statement said: “The police are investigating the theft of several items from the BECM in Bristol. An investigation is underway to find the person responsible.”