British Museum staff back calls for it to drop BP as a sponsor

Staff at the museum joined in a 1,500-strong protest at the weekend

British Museum
British Museum

The British Museum is under pressure to end its relationship with the oil giant BP after staff backed a 1,500-strong protest over the weekend.

The museum, which opened a new Trojan War exhibition at the weekend, sponsored by BP, was targeted on Friday morning by protesters dressed as Greek hoplite soldiers flanking a wooden Trojan Horse.

This was followed on Saturday by a protest involving as many as 1,500 people, according to the campaign group BP or Not BP?, which occupied the museum for much of the day.

The PCS union, which represents staff at the museum, yesterday called for the museum’s relationship with BP to end.

“As a public institution, the British Museum owes it to its staff, its visitors and its future to play a responsible role in the greatest challenge facing society,” the PCS said in a statement

“It is not true that we cannot afford to refuse BP’s oil money. In fact, we cannot afford to accept it.”

A statement about the protest from Helen Glynn of BP or Not BP? said: “The Troy exhibition has inspired us to create this magnificent beast, because the Trojan Horse is the perfect metaphor for BP sponsorship.

“On its surface the sponsorship looks like a generous gift, but inside lurk death and destruction.”

A spokeswoman for the British Museum said: “We are aware of the comments from the PCS union and will continue to liaise with the British Museum PCS branch and our staff more generally.”

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