Jonathan Williams, his constable, has also volunteered to voluntarily resign from his regular duties “with immediate effect” pending the outcome of the independent probe into thefts.
Fischer claimed in a statement that it was obvious the museum “did not respond as comprehensively as it should have” after learning of the thefts in 2021.
Additionally, he retracts comments he made earlier this week about the art dealer who tipped off museum administrators.
A “sincere regret” over the “misjudged” remarks was offered, according to Fischer.
Items from its collection that are “missing, stolen, or damaged” are being looked into by the Metropolitan Police.
The school has fired an unnamed employee who was later interviewed by police and is pursuing legal action.
The objects, which include glass, jewels of semi-precious stones, and gold jewellery, are believed to have been taken before 2023 over a “significant” period of time.
Leaked emails indicate that the museum disregarded information provided by an antiques merchant that objects would be sold on eBay in 2021.
Fischer, a German art historian whose departure from the London institution was announced in July, left on Friday afternoon.
In a statement, he said: “I have been carefully studying the events surrounding the thefts from the British Museum and the investigation into them over the previous few days.
It is clear that the British Museum did not respond to the warnings in 2021 and the danger that has now become fully apparent as thoroughly as it should have.
“The director must bear ultimate accountability for that failure.
I also miscalculated when I criticised Dr. Gradel earlier this week.
I want to apologise and take back those statements.
“I have submitted my letter of resignation to the chairman of the trustees and will leave the position as soon as the board has appointed a stand-in leader.
This will last until a new director is selected.
“The situation the museum is in is really bad.
I really do think it will get through this and come out stronger, but unhappily I’ve decided that my presence is just getting in the way.
The very last thing I would want is that.
I’ve had the honour of working with some of the most outstanding and devoted public workers over the past seven years.
Being the director of the British Museum has been the greatest honour of my life.
The museum merely says that the “small pieces” date from the “15th century BC to the 19th century AD” but does not specify how many things have been stolen or what exactly is missing.
Sir Nigel Boardman, a former museum trustee, and Lucy D’Orsi, the chief constable of the British Transport Police, have begun an independent examination of security.
The board of trustees has accepted Hartwig Fisher’s resignation from his position as director, said George Osborne, chair of the board.
He confronted the errors that had been made in an honourable manner.
Nobody has ever questioned Hartwig’s honesty, his commitment to his work, or his affection for the Museum.
Finding a new permanent Director has already begun as Hartwig previously indicated his decision to retire a few weeks ago.
“The Trustees will now set up a temporary structure to make sure the Museum has the essential leadership to get it through this trying time while we learn from what went wrong and utilise that knowledge to create plans for the future.
The Trustees also want to express their gratitude to all of the staff members who work so hard to maintain the Museum.
I’ll be clear: we’re going to remedy whatever went wrong.
The museum’s mission transcends generational boundaries.
We’ll gain knowledge, regain our self-esteem, and win admiration once more.
Over time, the British Museum has experienced a series of thefts of treasures and gems
According to a statement from the online retailer eBay, “Our committed law enforcement liaison team is in close contact with the Metropolitan Police and is supporting the investigation into this case.”
The sale of stolen goods is not permitted on eBay.
When we discover that a listing on our website is fraudulent, we take it down right away and cooperate with law enforcement to facilitate investigations and maintain the security of our website.
The head of the all-party parliamentary group for the British Museum, Tim Loughton, expressed his sadness over Fischer’s resignation.
Fischer has been a “really innovative and excellent director” for the past seven years, the MP claimed.
“This news in the last couple of weeks has obviously been very damaging and embarrassing, and it’s been taken very seriously by the director of all the trustees of the British Museum,” Loughton said on Times Radio.
But they’re also concealing information since the police have specifically requested that the museum withhold any further information while an inquiry is ongoing.
Since Hartwig hasn’t been able to elaborate or give his side of the story, it is evident that he has chosen to do what he believes is right by announcing his resignation today rather than waiting until he was scheduled to step down next year.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn