Friday, 1 October 2010

Stop cuts to arts funding, say 19 former Turner Prize winners

'More than 100 of the UK's leading artists, including almost every winner of the Turner prize, have warned that government cuts risk destroying the country's "remarkable and fertile landscape of culture and creativity".

Their extraordinary open letter to the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, also sent to the Guardian, has among its many signatories David Hockney, Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin, Sam Taylor-Wood, Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry, Steve McQueen, Bridget Riley, Wolfgang Tillmans, the Chapman brothers and Marc Quinn. It warns that proposed cuts to arts and museum funding could obliterate decades of work done creating a British cultural scene "that is the envy of the world".

"It enriches the lives of millions of Britons and attracts millions more visitors from other countries. It does all this at a cost that is no more than a tiny fraction of the national budget," says the letter. It is the latest salvo in a wider campaign that includes a series of new artworks by those involved.

The artists, among them 19 Turner prize winners and a further 28 previous nominees, say: "We appeal to the government not to slash funding to the arts and heritage. It risks destroying this remarkable and fertile landscape of culture and creativity, and the social and economic benefits it brings to all. We recognise that cuts and efficiencies are necessary, but the 25% or more funding cuts being considered will sabotage Britain's unparalleled achievements in this area."

Most at risk, they warn, will be smaller regional museums and art galleries, many of which gave them and others early inspiration. The proposed deep cuts could mean hundreds of institutions either close or radically cut back their operations.'

Via The Guardian - read the rest HERE.

I've previously blogged about this HERE.

Image: Mark Wallinger, Reckless


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