Merchants of death out of National Gallery

This video is called London, England: The National Gallery.

This video from England says about itself:

April 12, 2012

The National Gallery, one of our most iconic public institutions, regularly hosts evening events for the arms trade. In this video, 16 artists spell out what they think of the gallery’s support for arms companies. Add your voice:

By Rory MacKinnon in England:

Arms firm drops gallery deal

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Arms industry soirees will sleaze through London’s National Gallery no more, activists said today after patron Finmeccanica cancelled its cheques.

Finmeccanica are Italy-based multinational merchants of death, with links to disgraced ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

A spokesperson for the gallery said today that the company had “exercised their right to terminate” the deal – which netted the site £30,000 in the last year alone.

Inked in 2006, Finmeccania – the world’s eighth largest weapons manufacturer – had been due to continue as sponsor until October next year.

The Gallery declined to comment further.

But activists Campaign Against the Arms Trade speculated the early exit was prompted by public anger at the deal, which allowed the company to entertain clients – including murderous governments – with glitzy events among the galleries themselves.

Guests included Bahraini, Egyptian and Saudi delegations at an official reception for the state-sanctioned Defence and Security Equipment International arms fair in September last year – despite months of reports of torture and killing of Arab Spring demonstrators.

Campaign Against the Arms Trade’s Sarah Waldron was “delighted.”

The gallery was an “iconic and much-loved institution” but the deal had only tarnished its reputation.

Ms Waldron said: “This deal gave practical support to Finmeccanica’s business activities but, more importantly, the company was able to use the gallery’s facilities and prestige to give the appearance of legitimacy to its work.

“We hope the end of this relationship marks a recognition that arms companies and their deadly deals have no place in our arts institutions.”

Talking about merchants of death: Talks over a possible £28 billion merger of defence giant BAE Systems with French rival EADS have collapsed, writes Tony Patey.

A British arms dealer was convicted today of involvement in the shipping of thousands of AK47 assault rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition from China to Nigeria in 2007: here.

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