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V&A Museum chief quits to fight nationalism post-Brexit
Martin Roth, 2014 Thierry Bal.

LONDON (AFP).- Martin Roth, the outgoing director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, said Friday he was leaving to throw his weight into fighting nationalism across Europe, following Britain's vote to quit the EU.

The German announced last week that he was stepping down after five years in the role.

But he told BBC radio that Britain's decision to leave the European Union would make it more difficult to work with people and institutions abroad.

"I really like this country -- I like London, I like to live here," the 61-year-old said.

However, "the terms and conditions are changing," he said.

"It's worse. The UK just started it now but this new nationalism is everywhere -- it's a right-wing movement in Germany, it's in France, in the Netherlands, it's everywhere, and I think one has to do something, and that's one of the reasons why I'm leaving."

He said he feared Britain was becoming more introspective.

"I don't want to talk about 'little England', but it will change. It is already happening," Roth said.

When Britain does leave the EU, it will become harder for museums to work with other institutions abroad and share exhibits, he claimed.

He said that before the EU existed, "it was more difficult to work with other countries, with other museums. It's about the legal situation, it's about tax and trade and much, much more.

"Open borders give a completely different situation."

Roth said he was going to become the president of the Institute for International Relations, which is based in Stuttgart in Germany.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, the world's largest museum of design and decorative arts, welcomed a record 3.9 million visitors last year and won the British museum of the year award in July.

1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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