Ending oil industry sponsorship of the arts
For immediate release: Thursday 21st April 2011
For more information contact Simon Bradley, 07984 541 490
Activists from the University of Manchester erect an alternative BP logo to mark the first anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill
Manchester (20th April 2011) - To mark the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, students from the University ofManchester have protested against BP's sponsorship of the ManchesterMuseum by erecting an alternative BP logo inside the museum. BP iscurrently sponsoring the museum's China: Journey to the Eastexhibition. Students from environmental campaign group People & Planetentered the museum and erected artwork depicting the BP logo drippingin oil. The protesters proceeded to hand out leaflets containinginformation explaining the harm BP that does to the environment, andwhy they feel that it is inappropriate for the Manchester Museum toaccept sponsorship money from BP.
BP sponsors the Museum's current nine-month exhibition, China: Journeyto the East, which brings together objects from over 3,000 years ofChinese history. The exhibition opened last September and runs until June .
Wednesday 20th April is the one-year anniversary of the DeepwaterHorizon disaster, which caused the largest off-shore oil spill inAmerican history . On 20th April 2010 a large explosion rippedthrough the BP-run Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The resultant spill sawmore than two million gallons of oil leak in to the Gulf of Mexico .
The People & Planet group at the University of Manchester is anautonomous part of the nationwide People & Planet network, whichbrings students together to campaign on issues of human rights and the environment.
Said Annette Guilding, of People & Planet: “Although we have chosentoday, the first anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, for ouraction, that incident is just one small example from BP's litany ofcrimes against the environment. While we understand that theManchester Museum needs to find funding somehow, by accepting BP's oilmoney they are legitimising the company's other, harmful activities.By sponsoring cultural institutions and the arts, BP are trying tomake it seem like we need them – but we do not. As the Museum is partof our University, we feel it is up to us – the students – to take a stand against BP.”
Philosophy student Simon Bradley said “BP have tried to rebrand themselves as a green company. However, they continue to invest in theworld’s most environmentally damaging projects. They are a hugecontributor to climate change. By subverting BP’s logo we aim tohighlight the fact that this is simply greenwash and that oil stilllies at the heart of BP’s business. We need to move beyond oil.”
Contact Simon Bradley of University of Manchester People and Planeton 07984 541 490
Photographs provided upon request.