Museum of London in redundancy row

Museum denies "most" pre-modern senior curators to be axed
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Simon Stephens
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The Museum of London (MoL) has refuted suggestions that curatorial staff are being unfairly targeted in its planned budget cuts.

Concerns about the level of redundancies were raised by Mary Beard in her Times Online blog on 25 February, which had the headline “Slash and burn at the Museum of London”.

In the article, the University of Cambridge classics professor said she had heard of a plan “to make most of the senior pre-modern curators at the Museum of London redundant”.

Following Beard's article, a Save Museum of London Curators Facebook page was set up and a post was put up on the Council for British Archaeology email list.

The MoL is making savings of about £1m in 2011-12 when its projected budget will be £14.9m. But a museum spokesman said that under current proposals only three curatorial posts are to be lost out of a total of 27.

“There is no plan, as Mary Beard writes, to make ‘most’ of the pre-modern senior curators redundant,” an MoLspokesman said. “Reviews and negotiations are ongoing. But the museum has proposed losing one senior curator post out of the four existing senior curator posts in the pre-modern department, plus two senior curator posts out of the four existing history posts [one of these posts is vacant and has been for the past two years].”

The MoL is implementing 10% cuts to almost all departments. The spokesman added that all redundancies were voluntary at this stage and are spread across the organisation. Final decisions about job losses are expected in early June.

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