UK Arts at Risk of Being Left Behind by High-Spending Nations, Says V&A Chief
Jury, Louise, The Evening Standard (London, England)
LONDON's position as a world leader in the arts is in danger of being trumped by the billions other countries spend, the head of the Victoria and Albert Museum warned today.
Mark Jones, who leaves the V&A to head an Oxford college next year, said it was arguable that Britain was no longer a cultural powerhouse.
With investment now being cut by the Government, Sir Mark said the "billions" spent in many nations would affect Britain's position in the international league table.
"It has been a golden age of [British] museums and galleries. They have improved in the last 20 years enormously in the quality of facilities and displays and exhibition programmes and education," he said.
"But this is in the context of everyone else in the world improving at the same time. There have been higher levels of investment in Germany and France and other parts of the world, such as the US, China and Japan."
In March China will open an expanded National Museum in Beijing four times as big as the V&A. France increased arts spending by 2.7 per cent in its March budget to boost economic growth.
Exhibitions in Paris and New York receive more visitors for the same touring show at the V&A or National Gallery partly because of better conditions, Sir Mark suggested. …