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  • The British Museum

    RepoRT and accounTs foR The yeaR ended 31 MaRch 2011

    hc 1325 £11.25

  • The British Museum

    presented to parliament pursuant to section 9(8) of the Museums and Galleries act 1992

    RepoRT and accounTs foR The yeaR ended 31 MaRch 2011

    Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 13 July 2011

    hc 1325 £11.25

  • The British Museum account 2010-2011

    The British Museum account 2010-2011

    © The British Museum (2011)

    The text of this document (this excludes, where present, the Royal arms and all departmental

    and agency logos) may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium providing that

    it is reproduced accurately and not in a misleading context.

    The material must be acknowledged as The British Museum copyright and the document

    title specified. Where third party material has been identified, permission from the respective

    copyright holder must be sought.

    This publication is also for download at

    IsBn: 978 0 10 297367 9

    printed in the uK by The stationery office Limited

    on behalf of the controller of her Majesty’s stationery office

    Id: 2438517 07/11 19585 12846

    printed on paper containing 75% recycled fibre content minimum.

  • The British Museum account 2010-2011

    The British Museum account 2010-2011

    contents Page

    Trustees’ and Accounting Officer’s Annual Report 3

    chairman’s foreword 3

    structure, governance and management 4

    constitution and operating environment 4

    Governance 4

    Management 5

    friends’ organisations 5

    strategic direction and performance against objectives 5

    To manage and research the collection more effectively 6

    The collection 6

    conservation and scientific Research 6

    fieldwork and research 7

    To enhance access to the collection 8

    exhibitions 8

    debate, dialogue and learning 9

    national exhibitions and programmes 10

    Media and publications 10

    International exhibitions and programmes 11

    a history of the World in 100 objects 12

    To invest in our people 13

    employees 13

    diversity 14

    Volunteers 14

    To increase self-generated income 14

    plans for future periods 14

    fundraising and finance 15

    World conservation and exhibitions centre 15

    exhibitions 15

    acquisitions 15

    Grant-in-aid 16

    Trading 16

    capital expenditure 16

    Grants 16

    Reserves 16

    Reserves policy 16

    Monitoring levels of reserves 17


  • The British Museum account 2010-2011

    The British Museum account 2010-2011

    Maintaining Reserves 17

    Reviewing the reserves policy 17

    designations 17

    Investments and financial risks 17

    public benefit, sustainability, social and community issues 18

    public benefit 18

    estates management and sustainability 18

    suppliers 19

    activity under immunity from seizure 19

    Reference & administrative details 20

    The Board of Trustees 20

    Trustees’ committees and membership 20

    Trustee membership of related councils and Boards 21

    official addresses as at 31 March 2011 21

    dcMs’ performance indicators 22

    Basis of preparation of financial statements and accounting policies and practices 23

    Remuneration Report 24

    Statement of Trustees’ and Accounting Officer’s responsibilities 26

    Statement on internal control 27

    scope of Responsibility 27

    The purpose of the system of Internal control 27

    capacity to handle Risk 27

    The Risk and control framework 27

    Review of effectiveness 28

    The Certificate and Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General to the Houses of Parliament 29

    Respective responsibilities of the Board of Trustees, the director and auditor 29

    scope of the audit of the financial statments 29

    opinion on regularity 29

    opinion on financial statements 29

    opinion on other matters 29

    Matters on which I report by exception 30

    Report 30

    Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2011 31


  • The British Museum account 2010-2011

    The British Museum account 2010-2011

    Trustees’ and accounting officer’s annual Report

    chairman’s foreword

    ‘The best radio programme I’ve ever heard,’ wrote one admirer – and she’d been listening for 65 years. A History of the World in 100 Objects drew praise from across the globe. The innovative collaboration between the BM and BBc Radio 4 produced an immense popular response, not least in attracting visitors to the Museum itself to see the objects that had so enticed them on the radio.

    In 2010, 5.9 million people visited the BM in London, making it for the fourth year running the uK’s top visitor attraction. They could explore the afterlife with rare egyptian papyri, visit a south africa Landscape in the forecourt, or enjoy Renaissance feasts or nigerian films. fascinating objects from afghanistan were displayed in an exhibition that included ivories looted from the national Museum of afghanistan between 1992 and 1994, dramatically found and generously purchased by a donor for return to Kabul.

    The World conservation and exhibitions centre has received outstandingly generous support. The major building project at the BM will improve facilities and extend the BM’s national and international presence, increasing the number of loans the BM will be able to make and supporting joint projects in conservation, research and training. In september 2010, the sainsbury family through the Linbury Trust, chaired by Lord sainsbury of preston candover, and the Monument Trust, established by the late simon sainsbury and now chaired by stewart Grimshaw, donated £25 million towards the £135 million project – one of the largest gifts to the arts in the united Kingdom in recent decades. Major support has also been given by the Wolfson foundation, Garfield Weston foundation, clothworkers’ foundation, a.G. Leventis foundation and the family of constantine Leventis, as well as a continued pledge by the Government to provide significant financial support. In addition, we are delighted that the heritage Lottery fund have confirmed their initial support.

    The Trustees are immeasurably grateful for the timely generosity of these donors, as well as of those who wish to remain anonymous. fundraising continues, but the building’s importance and success is in no doubt. It will raise BM conservation, scientific research, collection management and exhibitions to a new level of efficiency and excellence. The Wcec will be a fitting platform for the international scholarship and collaborations that BM staff have strived so hard to achieve, often in less than ideal working conditions.

    The BM seeks to be a museum for the nation not by building outposts, but by collaborating with regional partners, expert as they already are in their own collections and audiences. partnership galleries such as this year’s new Roman gallery at the yorkshire Museum have been a particular success. such galleries draw on the BM collection to support and extend regional collections and produce a richer visitor experience than would otherwise have been possible for the public across Britain.

    Times are difficult, and the BM remains thankful for the financial support of all its donors and supporters. Most recent among them has been citi’s generous sponsorship of the new presentation of the Money Gallery, which draws on the BM’s rare collection of more than one million coins, from the 7th century Bc to the present day. When funds are short, it is often difficult to make great acquisitions, so we should like particularly to thank the friends of the British Museum, who gave £725,000 toward the purchase of the nimrud ivories, possibly the most important addition to the Museum’s collection in the year under review. The BM’s increasing presence nationally and internationally has also drawn support from a wide range of individuals and bodies across the globe, and we are pleased to see those wider endeavours so honoured. This year we lost the remarkable contribution of three Trustees. Both stephen Green and James sassoon answered the greater challenge to serve in Government, and Lord powell came to the end of his second term. My grateful thanks to both on behalf of the BM.

    for their hard work and dedication, the Trustees would like to thank all BM staff and volunteers. Without them, the collection could not achieve its distinctive scholarship, care, public presence and affection in the hearts of visitors worldwide.

    Niall FitzGerald KBE

    chairman of the Trustees


  • The British Museum account 2010-2011

    The British Museum account 2010-2011

    structure, governance and management

    constitution and operating environment

    The British Museum was founded in 1753. Its aim is to hold for the benefit and education of humanity a collection representative of world cultures (“the collection”), and ensure that the collection is housed in safety,