ACCEPTING money from arms companies has long been unthinkable for most arts organisations in Europe. This year, taking money from the Sackler family, which has been linked to the opioid crisis, became taboo for many of them, too.

Now, artists and activists say oil and gas money should be added to that list.

One Friday, some weeks ago, 78 British artists including Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Sarah Lucas said they had called on the National Portrait Gallery in London to cut ties with BP saying its, ''role in furthering the climate crisis'' made accepting new sponsorship from the company unacceptable.

''We believe that, today, the loss of BP as a source of funding is a cost worth bearing,'' the artists said in an open letter to the museum.

BP acknowledges that climate change is a significant problem but is investing only 3 percent of its available capital in renewable energy, the letter said. This was a ''glaring contradiction'' between words and actions,'' the letter added.

BP's sponsorship of the museum's annual Portrait Award was ''lending credence to the company's misleading assurance that that it's doing all it can,'' the artist said.

The letter is only the latest protest in recent weeks against British art institutions that receive sponsorship from oil companies.

At the end of June, Mark Rylance, the Academy Award and Tony-winning actor, resigned from an  honorary position at the Royal Shakespeare Company because it accepted money from BP to subsidize tickets for young people.

''I do not wish to be associated with BP anymore than I would with an arms dealers,'' Mr. Rylance wrote in his resignation letter.

''Nor, I believe, would William  Shakespeare,'' he added. Mr. Rylance said in a telephone interview that he would not consider acting with the company until the sponsorship deal with BP was dropped.

The Royal Opera House in London has also faced calls to end BP's sponsorship of outdoor opera and ballet screenings.

Last week Extinction Rebellion, the climate change protest group, staged a small..... ''die-in'' outside the opera house, lying down on the sidewalk outside.

The audience who used its main entrance had to step over protesters to get into the night's performance of ''Carmen''.

The honor and serving of ''climate protests'', the world over, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Alex Marshall.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!