THE director of a museum in Bath has been appointed to take charge of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum.

Alexander Sturgis, who is currently director of the Holburne Museum, will replace Prof Christopher Brown when he retires in September.

Dr Sturgis previously held a number of posts at the National Gallery in London including exhibitions and programmes curator for six years.

Dr Sturgis said: “It is a huge honour to be given the chance to lead one of the country’s great museums, however hard it will be to leave the Holburne after eight exceptionally happy and eventful years.

“I look forward to working with the Ashmolean team and Oxford University to build on all that has been achieved at the museum in recent years.”

Prof Brown is stepping down after 16 years in the role and overseeing the museum’s £61m extension to take up a position as a research professor at the university for three years after a sabbatical.

Dr Sturgis read history at University College, Oxford, in the early 1980s before receiving a PhD in art history from the Courtauld Institute in London in 1990.

Dr Sturgis will become the 19th person to take the reins of the Beaumont Street museum in its 331-year history, when he starts work on October 1.