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2014: ten moments of a culture beyond oil

'Don't let Shell rebrand Rembrandt!', 16.10.14


From the BP or not BP? facebook page -

'Tonight, 50 of us sang, chanted, spoke and performed outside Shell's swanky private party at the National Gallery. As senior Shell executives, Gallery management and their guests (including Greg Barker MP) shuffled into the building, we read out, together, in a unison they could not ignore, the words of frontline activists fighting against Shell around the world. 

Musical protest disrupts launch of National Gallery exhibition

National Gallery taken to task in song for Shell sponsorship and proposed privatisation on eve of staff strike

At 11.25 on Tuesday morning, the official media launch of the National Gallery’s Shell-sponsored Rembrandt exhibition was interrupted by an unexpected musical protest. Ten performers (from the Art Not Oil coalition groups BP or not BP? and Shell Out Sounds) launched into a energetic reworked musical version of Dr. Faustus in front of surprised journalists, staff and gallery-goers.

Tate and oil: does the art world need to come clean about sponsorship? (Gdn, 8.10.14)

In a cramped second-floor room in an office block mostly used for immigration hearings, one of the most famous museums in the world is fighting to keep a secret. In March, the Information Commissioner ruled that Tate must, against its wishes, reveal some of what was said in meetings where the latest of several sponsorship deals with oil giant BP was discussed. The museum appealed, and now its lawyers are here to make the case for being exempted from the Freedom of Information Act, which would otherwise oblige disclosure.

Stop the Gallery of Greenwash! (16.10.14)


On Thursday 16th October, Shell is celebrating its sponsorship of the National Gallery's new Rembrandt exhibition, with an exclusive 'gala evening' for special guests and highly ranked staff! With a meagre contribution to the gallery, Shell is buying social legitimacy for its dodgy deeds worldwide, including...

- its failure to clean up its multiple spills in the Niger Delta
- its reckless plans to drill in the Arctic for yet more oil
- its tar sands projects in Canada that are undermining Indigenous people's rights

Deepwater Horizon Spill brought to British Museum

Photo by Anna Branthwaite

On Sunday 21st September, around seventy people entered the British Museum and used costumes, masks, and black material to recreate BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, in front of surprised Museum-goers and staff. The performance was organised by theatrical protest group “BP or nor BP?” to challenge BP’s ongoing sponsorship of the Museum, and was timed to coincide with the biggest global demonstration ever for climate action.The protesters gathered in the Great Court of the Museum at 10.45am, just outside the newly-opened BP-sponsored Ming exhibition.

ANO in Transition Free Press, (September 2014)

Giant Black Square unveiled at Tate Modern

Performers unveiling Liberate Tate's Black Square

On 6 September, over 100 members and supporters of Liberate Tate carried out an unsolicited performance reinterpreting Kazimir Malevich’s iconic 'Black Square' painting which is currently on display as part of the Malevich exhibition at Tate Modern.

Irish festival cancels Shell sponsorship

Ireland’s biggest traditional music festival has withdrawn Shell as a title sponsor of the event after pressure from environmental campaigners.

Organisers of the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, which involves 12,000 performers and draws an estimated attendance of 250,000 people each year, has decided to hand the sponsorship money back to Shell.

The organisers said it chose to do so “an inclusive, community driven and family focused event and to avoid any unnecessary distractions on the eve of the festival”.

Petition against BP's Glasgow 2014 Greenwash

BP is an official partner of this year's Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. For a small contribution, BP are painting themselves as generous, socially responsible and "green" - when nothing could be further from the truth. Art Not Oil have launched a new petition to coincide with the games, offering people an opportunity to say they love sport but without oil sponsorship. You can add your name here.


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