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Great Britain
Neil MacGregor

Neil MacGregor is the director of the British Museum, one of the world’s most-visited museums. In his exhibitions he links complex art historical and historical themes and uses his curatorial engagement to bring a broad audience closer to a new awareness of the past, most recently in the exhibition Germany: Memories of a Nation conceived for the anniversary of the fall of the wall. MacGregor became famous with a series of BBC radio talks in which he explained The History of the World in 100 Objects and a book by the same name. MacGregor grew up in Glasgow and learned German in his schooldays. His academic pathway reflects his wide-ranging interests. He studied French and German (New College, Oxford University), philosophy (École Normale Supérieure, Paris), law (University of Edinburgh) and art history (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London). In 1987 he became director of the National Gallery in London. Since 2002 he has headed the British Museum. From October, MacGregor will be one of the founding directors of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin. In her laudatory speech, Marion Ackermann, artistic director of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, emphasized MacGregor’s humanity and love of language. But he has something else, “which may seem natural for ... a museum director, but unfortunately is encountered all too rarely: his belief in the open, creative process.” MacGregor was one of the first to see the encouragement of artistic production as an additional function of the museum. “As we all know, during his time as director of the National Gallery he opened the museum to great artists and let them stay there day and night.”