ASHMOLEAN museum director Professor Christopher Brown will be awarded the Freedom of the City of Oxford to mark his retirement.

The Lord Mayor of Oxford will present him with the ceremonial scroll at a ceremony in Oxford Town Hall in July. The honour is for people of “distinction” who have “rendered eminent services to the city”.

Council leader Bob Price, said: “Councillors were unanimous in agreeing that the freedom would be a perfect way of acknowledging the debt of gratitude that the people of Oxford have to Christopher.

“Under his leadership, the museum has not only been transformed physically, but it has opened itself out to the city and the wider world, through a major schools programme, and events such as Friday Night Live and the Christmas Light Festival.”

Professor Brown, who will step down later this year after 16 years, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be honoured in this way by the city of Oxford..”