BP continues support of British art with £10m pledge

Oil giant BP has pledged to continue its support of British art institutions with a £10 million sponsorship deal over the next five years, Canvas Prints can report.

The company will aid the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Royal Opera House and Tate Britain as part of a “renewal and expansion” of its support.

It could mean that canvas prints of new works become available as the galleries boost their exhibitions and promote more artists.

However, BP has come under fire for its backing of art galleries, with an 8,000-signature petition handed to Tate earlier this month calling on it to end the sponsorship.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey has welcomed the “significant investment” that BP makes in the arts, telling Canvas Prints the firm has “led the way in business support for the arts”.

BP’s managing director Iain Conn said the money enables “people around the country and the world to connect through the experience of outstanding exhibitions and performances, promoting ideas and encouraging creativity”.

British Museum director Neil MacGregor also welcomed BP’s support, pointing out that the money has already ensured more than one million people can see works by the likes of Michelangelo and discover the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota said BP’s sponsorship over the past 20 years has allowed Tate Britain to do far more. “From showing historic masterpieces to presenting the latest
developments in contemporary art, the BP British art displays make both the famous and the lesser-known works of British art accessible to a variety of audiences,” he explained.

Visitors to the BP-sponsored British art institutions can invest in canvas prints of some of their favourite pieces and take a piece of the art world home with them, without having to invest millions of pounds.

The oil giant is also sponsoring the Cultural Olympiad and Festival of London next year.

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