September 30, 2023


How Art Works

British Museum’s Contentious BP Sponsorship Involves an Finish

2 min read

The Guardian reported at the moment that after practically three a long time, the British Museum’s contentious sponsorship take care of British Petroleum (BP) is ending. The information would signify a near-complete withdrawal of the oil large from the UK arts world, as partnerships with different publicly funded establishments together with the Tate and the Nationwide Portrait Gallery have additionally come to a detailed lately within the wake of stress from anti-fossil gas activists.

The Guardian claims it obtained paperwork by way of a Freedom of Info request by which the museum said that “there aren’t any different contracts or agreements in impact between the museum and BP.”

Nevertheless, in an announcement to Hyperallergic and different media, the museum refuted claims that it was ending its relationship with the corporate.

“In instances of diminished public funding, company sponsors like bp enable us to fulfil our mission to ship distinctive studying experiences to our guests,” a British Museum spokesperson stated.“We now have not ended our partnership with bp. bp is a valued long run supporter of the Museum and our present partnership runs till this 12 months.”

Advocates who’ve lengthy demanded that the British Museum half methods with BP hailed the information as reported by the Guardian as a “huge victory.”

“BP’s sponsorship of the humanities has by no means been about philanthropy: It was a cynical technique to artwash its poisonous popularity and advance its enterprise whereas reaping record-breaking income from advancing local weather breakdown,” Sarah Waldron, co-director of marketing campaign group Tradition Unstained, stated in an announcement shared with Hyperallergic.

Local weather activists have staged a number of protests and demonstrations on the British Museum in a name to finish its take care of the petroleum firm in the previous few years. Tradition Unstained notes that regardless of BP’s claims to be “net-zero” by 2050, in response to its 2023 first-quarter report, the corporate generated $5 billion in underlying substitute value income, a quantity that was greater than anticipated compared to analyst predictions.

The British Museum confronted further stress in 2019 when distinguished novelist Ahdaf Soueif resigned from its board of trustees, citing partly the museum’s incapacity to finish its BP sponsorship, which she said was an “difficulty of important concern to the individuals who must be its core constituency.”

At the start of this 12 months, the museum introduced at its annual trustees’ dinner that the establishment was pledging to neutralize its carbon footprint by its so-called “Rosetta Challenge.” Nonetheless, it didn’t handle its relationship with BP. The partnership was set to resume in February, but it surely was unclear whether or not the museum would transfer ahead with the deal.

Editor’s word 6/2/23 5pm EST: This text has been up to date to incorporate an announcement from the British Museum refuting the Guardian’s preliminary report.

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