BP polluters’ greenwashing arts sponsorship

By Adrian Roberts in Britain:

Museums renew dirty deal with BP

Monday 19 December 2011

Four of Britain’s top museums and galleries have provoked outrage among artists by renewing their sponsorship deal with oil giant BP.

The funding has been highly criticised over BP’s links to human rights abuses and the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, when 11 workers were killed and four million barrels of oil were dumped into the Gulf of Mexico.

But the Royal Opera House, British Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain will now receive £10m between them over the next five years.

Protests over the dirty money deal have included the throwing of an oil-like substance on the entrance to Tate Britain as the gallery threw its summer party.

Tate Director Sir Nicholas Serota said that the Tate had been “thinking very hard” about the issue.

“But the board (of trustees) … felt it’s the right thing to continue with BP. BP have been great supporters of the arts,” he said.

However Chris Sands from art activists Liberate Tate, who have carried out a number of unsolicited performance interventions in Tate buildings over the sponsorship, said: “Tate’s board of trustees should make the decision to refuse this dirty oil money.

“For too long the art museum has supported BP against the demonstrable wishes of so many thousands of Tate members and visitors as well as hundreds of artists.

“It is now up to the Tate governing body to demonstrate 21st-century leadership and act on growing public concern by ending Tate’s relationship with BP, not renewing it.

“Only by breaking its links with BP will the board be acting in the best interests of Tate and the arts as well as affected communities, future generations and the world we live in.”

Why is the Tate still silent about its relationship with BP? Here.

Way Beyond Greenwashing: Have Corporations Captured “Big Conservation”? Here.

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