BP polluters, bad British Museum sponsors

This video from the Netherlands says about itself:

Blackout Shell

9 December 2016

This statement accompanied the video that was shared with the audience at the Engaged Art Fair on Saturday 3rd of December at de Balie, Amsterdam:

“Which is a greater crime: the befouling of Art or the destruction of Life?

The Van Gogh Museum —like many others— takes the dirtiest money in the world to fuel its activities: oil money. With this, Royal Dutch Shell is ‘artwashing’ its image.

The ‘collateral damage’ of the oil business is: deaths, spills, wars and the injustice of the climate catastrophe. Such extreme situations call for extreme responses. Today we are blacking out Van Gogh’s Sunflowers because art sponsored by oil is not worth seeing. This is also collateral damage.”

Van Gogh’s Sunflowers were not really blacked out, only symbolically as part of a protest theatre play.

By Felicity Collier in Britain:

Protesters target British Museum over dirty BP deal

Monday 15th May 2017

CAMPAIGNERS led an “oily” protest in London yesterday against the British Museum’s sordid links with oil giant BP.

About 40 performers at the British Museum highlighted taxpayers’ expense in paying for BP’s sponsorship of the museum.

An “oily mob” performed theatre and song in glitzy costumes to raise awareness of the planet-destroying multinational’s ties with museums and galleries in Britain and abroad.

The performance by campaign groups Art Not Oil and BP or Not BP? was part of a fortnight of action calling on public institutions to cut their links to fossil fuels.

It took place days after creative protests at the Louvre in Paris, which is sponsored by the oil and gas multinational Total, and at the Shell-sponsored Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Chris Garrard from BP or Not BP? told the Star that taxpayers in Britain pay £110 million a year to fund cultural institutions such as Tate, the Royal Opera House and the National Portrait Gallery as well as the British Museum.

But BP pays a paltry £2 million a year — yet received government subsidies to the tune of £210m in 2015.

Mr Garrard described its British Museum sponsorship as a “deception.”

He added that what BP was doing was “being seen to be generous.”

“It makes a song and dance about sponsorship — but it actually is a drain. We could be using [government subsidies to BP to fund arts. The British Museum are trying to keep the figures hidden from the public.”

Signs exposing these sums were confiscated by museum security staff. And, bizarrely, several glittery bow ties and waistcoats were also taken away.

The group was expecting to host Who Wants to Be a Billionaire? — a rigged “gameshow” in which BP wins every time — inside the museum. They managed to perform some of it, as well as some songs and dances.

Mr Garrard said that BP recently signed a new deal with the museum for five more years and that the director did so without consulting trustees.

Using literary quotes to make points in its manifesto, BP or Not BP? describes the oil multinational as “the harlot’s cheek, beautified with sponsoring art.”

It added: “BP is conspiring to distract us from the naked truth of climate change, and by pursuing a future powered by more and more extreme fossil fuels, like tar sands, deep-water drilling and Arctic exploitation.”

4 thoughts on “BP polluters, bad British Museum sponsors

  1. Pingback: British artists about why they vote Labour | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Tuesday 20th June 2017

    posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

    HUMAN rights campaigners are demanding the National Portrait Gallery scrap a sponsorship deal with BP that they say violates its ethics policy.

    Campaign group Culture Unstained is to lodge a 19-page formal complaint with the gallery today, just in time for this evening’s BP Portrait Award ceremony.

    The report highlights BP’s support for rights-abusing regimes including Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia and Mexico.

    It says this breaches the human rights clause in the gallery’s ethical fundraising policy, allowing it to reject cash when “the supporting source is known or suspected to be closely associated with a regime known or suspected to be in violation of human rights.”

    Culture Unstained accused the gallery of “failing to ensure that the decision-making process was conducted properly” and warn that if concerns are not addressed they will complain to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

    BP ended its 26-year sponsorship of the Tate gallery last year following years of protests, closely followed by the end of its 34-year sponsorship of the Edinburgh International Festival.

    Culture Unsustained spokesman Dr Chris Garrard said: “The gallery needs to explain what the purpose of having an ethical fundraising policy is if you’re not willing to stand by your values and put it into action.

    “It’s disturbing to think the gallery might have researched BP’s close ties to regimes that violate human rights and decided that’s the company it wants to keep.”

    A gallery spokeswoman said it would respond after a complaint was formally received.



  3. Pingback: Louvre museum, workers abused in Abu Dhabi | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: BP, bad museum sponsor, Syrian refugee says | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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