Steven Parissien to take the reins at Newmarket's Palace House museum
Newmarket's Palace House museum has announced who will be taking the reins at the heritage centre later this year.
Prof Steven Parissien will become chief executive of Palace Street's National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art in June, taking over from Chris Garibaldi who is stepping down to embark on full-time research at the University of Cambridge later this year.
Prof Parissien was chief executive of Verney Art Gallery and Park in Warwickshire from 2009 until November 2018, where he oversaw soaring visitor numbers and introduced a series of critically acclaimed and popular exhibitions.
The Oxford-educated professor also introduced a number of commercial activities, including a lucrative wedding and corporate hire business.
And since 2018 he has completed a project as a directorial consultant at the Bata Museum in Toronto, Canada.
Prof Parissien said he was 'absolutely delighted' to be returning to the country to take over from Mr Garibaldi.
"Palace House has achieved a vast amount as an organisation over the past nine years with him at the helm, and I am incredibly excited to be bringing my experiences at Compton Verney and in the wider museum sector to help lead their - and indeed my - ambitions for the future and growth of Palace House, The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art," he said.
Starting in 2010, Mr Garibaldi delivered the £19m project to create a national gallery of British sporting art - alongside a new national horseracing museum - in the palace Charles II originally built for himself in the town.
Mr Garibaldi said: "It has been a true privilege to lead the organisation over the nine years of my tenure and I am extremely proud of what has been achieved over that time by the incredibly dedicated team at Palace House.
"It has been an honour to have been part of such and exciting project.
"I am delighted to be handing over to Prof Parissien whose outstanding work at Compton Verney is well known and makes him, in my opinion, the perfect choice.
"I couldn't be more pleased that the board has recruited Steven to take Palace House through the next stage of its extraordinary history and I wish him every success in his new post."
Rachel Hood, chairman of the museum's trustees, said: "I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the trustees' and my sincere thanks for the tremendous job that Chris at Palace has done to produce such a brilliant museum and we all wish him well on his return to academia.
"We are absolutely thrilled to have recruited Prof Parissien as our new chief executive. We looked far and wide for a suitable candidate and are immensely pleased to have persuaded Steven to return from Canada to take forward our ambitions for the organisation."