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British Museum trustee resigns over BP sponsorship and repatriation

Ahdaf Soueif's tweet to the PCS union, 19.7.19


An Egyptian writer has resigned from the British Museum's board of trustees, claiming it is "immovable" on its sponsorship deal with oil company BP.

Ahdaf Soueif also cited the museum's positions on worker relations and the repatriation of cultural artefacts as reasons for her departure.

In a blog post she called on the museum "to take a clear ethical position... on issues of critical concern".


From our friends at Culture Unstained:

* 78 leading artists – including Turner Prize and BP Portrait Award winners – call for end to BP sponsorship at National Portrait Gallery
* Letter calls on Gallery director to ‘remove the BP representative from judging panel’
* Intervention follows Mark Rylance’s resignation from RSC over BP sponsorship

Mark Rylance resigns from the RSC

Mark Rylance as Romeo, RSC 1989

Mark Rylance has today (21.6.19) announced his resignation as an Associate Artist of the RSC over its partnership with BP. This is a huge development, particularly given the past two weeks of opposition to BP sponsorship.

You can read the news article in the Guardian here:

Natural History Museum refuses request to cut ties with fossil fuels industry


'Yesterday (19.6.19), Extinction Rebellion met with Sir Michael Dixon, director of the Natural History Museum, and his senior staff to ask them to: cancel the Petroleum Group dinner they’re hosting on Thursday 20 June, declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency and cut any and all ties with the fossil fuel industry, including renaming the Hintze Hall.

Guests at BP Portrait Award forced to climb over wall to enter, thanks to artistic blockade (10.6.19)

A specially-painted portrait of Cherri Foytlin, Indigenous journalist, advocate and mother of six, who lives on the Gulf Coast in South Louisiana. She has been a tireless campaigner for justice for all those affected by BP’s catastrophic Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. The quote is part of a longer message she sent us in 2016, calling on UK arts institutions to stop promoting BP. Portrait by Zora Owen, photo by Diana More.

Last night, BP or not BP? delayed the announcement of the award’s winner after temporarily blocking all three entrances to the Gallery. This resulted in security guards helping guests climb over a wall using two footstools. Both Peter Mather and Des Violaris from BP were there…and did not look happy. You can read the BP or not BP? write-up here:

Extinction Rebellion take on BP in Trafalgar Square

200 musicians urge Sadiq Khan to drop permission for BP’s opera branding

* Sadiq Khan called on to end permission for oil branding of Royal Opera House’s ‘BP Big Screen’ broadcasts

* 200 signatories to letter include leading figures from classical, folk and popular music

* News comes day after BP Portrait Award judge and respected artists denounce BP sponsorship of the prize

* Extinction Rebellion group plans to mount protest this evening at first BP Big Screen of the year

BP Portrait Award judge and artists speak out

'A judge and several leading artists have written to the director of the National Portrait Gallery on the eve of its annual awards calling on it to end its links to BP'...

100s join indigenous-led tour of British Museum, for repatriation and against BP

Unofficial tour guides and hundreds of attendees descended on the British Museum yesterday, urging it to repatriate objects acquired through colonialism and end its long-standing partnership with the oil giant BP. Museum galleries were packed with people listening to rebel museum talks, and some routes through the museum were temporarily closed by security in response to the crowds.

Campaign win! Edinburgh Science Festival drops fossil fuel sponsorship


From the Guardian, 3.4.19:



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