Hon Mrs Mary Anna Marten (Biographical details)

Hon Mrs Mary Anna Marten (British; Female; 12 September 1929 - 19 January 2010)

Also known as

Marten, Mary Anna; Marten, Mary Anna


Trustee of the British Museum. She succeeded John Thorn as a trustee appointed by the Prime Minister on 5th December 1985. She was reappointed twice ( 5 December 1990 and 5 December 1995). She retired 4 December 1998. She served on the following committees: i. Buildings ( where she was the Chair); ii. External Relations and Public Services; iii 2003 and iv Great Court Client. She was acting chair of the British Museum Society (q.v.) between 15 December 1990 to 29 February 1992 and on the British Museum Development Trust [BMDT] Board of Trustees (no dates available). She was also the Trustees' representative on the Council of the National Trust between 16 December 1993 and 31 December 1996. She was awarded an OBE and DL.

Mrs Marten became deeply attached to Iran after visiting her brother-in-law, Tim Marten, then head of the chancery in the British Embassy in Tehran, in 1956. She travelled around the country over many subsequent visits but often staying with the archaeologist Roman Ghirshman (q.v.). In 1987 and 1993 she donated single ethnographic items to The British Museum, followed in 2000 with the donation of a silver bowl bought in Tehran and a small collection of Middle Eastern potsherds and other minor finds; these were mainly from Iran and some given to her by Ghirshman during the time of her visit to his excavations at Choga Zanbil. In 2002 she presented one of twelve eagle booches worn by Queen Victoria's bridesmaids to mark the retirement of the Director, R. D. Anderson. She also presented several antiquities to the Ashmolean Museum (q.v.) in memory of P.R.S. Moorey where they are registered as 2009,1026-103.

Her privately printed memoirs entitled 'As it Was' were published in 2008.


Obituaries: J. Curtis, 'Iran' 48 (2010), pp. vii-x; [J. Curtis], 'The Times' 8 March 2010.