British Museum urged to remove BP’s name from lecture theatre | British Museum

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The British Museum is dealing with calls for to take away BP’s title from its lecture theatre to ship a “highly effective message” about fossil gas sponsorship.

The museum didn’t renew its cope with the power agency this 12 months after 27 years of BP funding exhibitions and different actions.

The transfer was welcomed by environmental campaigners and got here after different cultural establishments reduce ties with sponsors that have been inflicting reputational harm.

Now, greater than 80 individuals from heritage, arts and local weather backgrounds have referred to as on Hartwig Fischer, the museum’s director, to take away BP’s title from the lecture theatre earlier than he steps down subsequent 12 months.

The signatories embody photographer Nan Goldin, who led a marketing campaign to get the Sackler title faraway from museums internationally; local weather scientist Invoice McGuire; author Gaia Vince; local weather justice activist and psychological well being advocate Tori Tsui; the director of the Brunel Museum, Katherine McAlpine; and archaeologist and co-author of The Daybreak of Every little thing, David Wengrow.

Of their letter to Fischer, they are saying: “Simply as cultural establishments all over the world have eliminated the Sackler household title as proof of the dangerous methods their cash was made got here to mild, the damning proof of BP’s previous – and current – can not be ignored.

“Renaming the lecture theatre would ship a strong message concerning the future the museum desires to see … You’d be demonstrating the type of local weather management that’s now so urgently wanted.”

The lecture theatre seats greater than 300 individuals, with a raised stage and cinema-style display. It’s obtainable for rent for occasions together with AGMs, awards ceremonies, conferences and screenings.

In June, it emerged that the museum had determined that no additional exhibitions or different actions could be sponsored by BP. It stated there have been “no different contracts or agreements in impact between the museum and BP”.

The Tate, Nationwide Portrait Gallery, Royal Shakespeare Firm, Scottish Ballet and Royal Opera Home have ended funding partnerships with the power agency in recent times.

BP has been a sponsor of the British Museum since 1996. The latest five-year contract expired in February, however the British Museum and BP wouldn’t be drawn on whether or not their partnership was over.

In disclosures obtained underneath freedom of data requests by attorneys performing for the marketing campaign group Tradition Unstained, the museum stated “sure phrases” of the deal remained in impact, as a result of it had verbally agreed to let BP train its “supporter advantages” till the top of 2023.

The letter to Fischer, which was organised by Tradition Unstained, stated: “We welcome the information that the British Museum’s current sponsorship cope with the oil and fuel firm BP formally resulted in February and has not been renewed.”

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It urged Fischer to “pledge that the museum will settle for no additional funding from sponsors or donors concerned in fossil gas manufacturing”.

Fischer introduced final month that he would step down in 2024 after eight years because the museum’s director. He stated he needed to deal with the “rescue and preservation of cultural heritage in instances of local weather disaster, battle, battle, and violence”.

Final week, BP reported earnings of $2.6bn (£2bn) for the second quarter of the 12 months, because the world skilled excessive heatwaves brought on by the local weather disaster.

Campaigners have accused oil firms of constructing “obscene” earnings on the expense of the setting.

A spokesperson for the British Museum declined to remark.

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