CAIRO: The British Museum announced in a statement Thursday that it will be temporarily closed after Greenpeace activists protested BP’s sponsorship of the “Osiris, Egypt’s Sunken Mysteries” exhibition.
The decision to close came after Greenpeace activists rallied outside the museum to protest against the “polluting practices” carried out by BP claiming that its association with the exhibition allows the oil company “to clean up its image,” according to Youm7.
“The Museum is closed temporarily for visitor safety reasons due to a protest. We hope to re-open shortly. Thanks for your patience,” a statement published on the museum’s website said.
The activists climbed the pillars in the front of the museum and hung banners with the names of places threatened by rising sea levels and climate change including New Orleans, Manila and the Maldives. The activists dubbed the exhibition ‘Sinking Cities,’ and called on the British Museum to end its partnership with BP.
“This is not just about a one-off exhibition. Sponsorship of our art and cultural institutions is being used by oil companies like BP for the sole purpose of furthering their business interests – to look good by association,” according to Greenpeace statement.
The exhibit, which comprises of 293 carefully selected artifacts excavated in the ruins of ancient Alexandria’s legendary cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, was inaugurated early September at the Arab World Institute in Paris. The exhibit is scheduled to tour Switzerland in November before returning to Egypt.
The British Museum is due to re-open later today.