Arts projects face Olympic competition for funding

  • 29 August 2007

A former lottery fund trustee has voiced concerns over the threat to major arts projects poised by London’s Olympic Games.

Fears are felt across the arts community over the level of cash distributed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with claims that the sports event will signal a major dearth for large projects, as funding is cut by £60 million.

Cash set aside for major projects, which until last year was set at £80 million, has been cut to £40 million. This figure is due to drop again to £20 million for the year 2008-2009.

Former lottery find trustee and ex director of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, Giles Waterfield commented in the Art Newspaper: “What is remarkable and depressing is that having devised a way of spending large sums of money on public causes without using public funds, the government should be so opportunistically hasty in dismantling the system.

“The next decade looks to be a dim one for British museums: let’s hope the Olympics will show that the sacrifice was worthwhile.”

Major projects in the past have included the purchase of Raphael’s Madonna of the Pinks and the renovation of Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum.

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