Explore media coverage, opinion pieces and blogs relating to our work on oil sponsorship of arts and culture. This page also includes coverage of activity by other groups where they directly reference or relate to our work.
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Taking a look at a problematic partnership with BP
DeSmog UK, Sophie Yeo; 6th April 2020
Classical music venue’s long-running relationship with Shell to conclude
Rhinegold, Melissa Bradshaw; 13th March 2020
Southbank branch of PCS comment on end of relationship with oil firm
PCS Southbank Branch; 11th March 2020
Prominent art critic dissects the lacklustre responses of museum directors
The Art Newspaper, Ben Luke; 10th March 2020
All three South Bank cultural institutions will now move beyond relationships with Shell
Guardian, Matthew Taylor; 9th March 2020
Our response to energy analyst Nick Butler’s opinion piece in the FT
FT, Dr Chris Garrard; 5th March 2020
Our opinion piece for international art news site ArtNet
ArtNet, Chris Garrard; 28th February 2020
Prominent funder of climate denial forced of museum Board in US
The New York Times, Robin Pogrebin; 27th February 2020
Feature on the ethics of arts sponsorship with focus on fossil fuel funders
Evening Standard Magazine, Hettie Judah; 19th February 2020
We scrutinise the lack of substance behind BP’s latest announcement
Sky News; 12th February 2020
The NT follows the RSC’s lead
Guardian, Nazia Parveen; 4th October 2019
The biggest win to date for the movement to end oil sponsorship
Guardian, Matthew Taylor; 2nd October 2019
Op-ed about the ethics of corporate sponsorship
FT, Rachel Spence; 19th August 2019
The Nope to Arms artists collective removed their work from the Design Museum’s ‘From Hope to Nope’ exhibition last year because of the museum’s ties to arms manufacturer Leonardo.
The collective’s demand for a response is also covered by Frieze and Arts Professional.
Hyperallergic, Hakim Bishara; 2nd August 2019
Ian Blatchford, Science Museum’s director, defends partnership with BP, Shell and Equinor in email to staff
FT, James Pickford; 2nd August 2019
Culture Unstained co-director Chris Garrard debating Claire Fox: should arts institutions take money from dubious donors like BP and the Sackler family?
Spectator Radio; 1st August 2019
Freedom of Information request by Culture Unstained exposes the NHM’s relationship with a climate-change-denying donor.
DeSmog, Richard Collett-White; 31st July 2019
FT, James Pickford; 31st July 2019
Live streaming of Culture Unstained co-director Chris Garrard debating oil sponsorship with representatives from BP and the British Museum.
Tortoise; 30th July 2019
Ahdaf Soueif calls on museums to take a broader view of their responsibilities and thanks campaigners for raising awareness
Museums Association, Geraldine Kendall Adams; 24th July 2019
Culture Unstained co-director Jess Worth corrects the untruths spouted in BP’s defence by the British Museum’s chair, in a comment piece for DeSmog UK
DeSmog, Jess Worth; 22nd July 2019
The British Museum’s PCS Union branch issued a statement supporting Ahdaf Soueif’s resignation from the museum’s board, citing BP’s use of the museum for greenwashing
Frieze; 19th July 2019
Novelist Ahdaf Soueif lays out her reasons for resigning from the British Museum’s board, which include BP sponsorship
London Review of Books, Ahdaf Soueif, 15th July 2019
Bob Dudley responds to growing pressure on cultural institutions to break ties with oil company.
Also covered by the Stage.
The Guardian, Jillian Ambrose; 11th July 2019
Opinion piece about how the art world responds to the climate emergency, in light of the growing movement against oil sponsorship and the formation of Culture Declares Emergency
Frieze, Mel Evans; 8th July 2019
Directors of the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery reject demands to drop the oil company as a sponsor
The Art Newspaper, Gareth Harris; 8th July 2019
The sculptor discussed the letter from 78 artists to the NPG calling on them to drop BP as a sponsor on Radio 4’s Today programme.
BBC News; 6th July 2019
78 leading artists, including former winners of the BP Portrait award, call on the NPG to end its relationship with the giant oil company.
The artists’ letter is also covered by the New York Times, Hyperallergic, artnet, Dazed, Frieze and the Ecologist, and BBC2’s Newsnight hosted a discussion about oil sponsorship in the arts (see a short clip here).
The Guardian, Matthew Taylor; 5th July 2019
In the aftermath of Mark Rylance’s resignation, Jonathon Porritt cites the work of Culture Unstained and other organisations as being influential in shifting the conversation around oil sponsorship
Jonathon Porritt; 4th July 2019
The Dutch NOS (Dutch Broadcast Foundation) reports on Mark Rylance and Miriam Margolyes’ boycott of the RSC over BP sponsorship
NOS; 28th June 2019
Politics Live [episode not available for viewing]
Artist Paul Benney discusses BP’s sponsorship of the National Portrait Gallery’s BP Portrait Award
BBC Two; 27th June 2019
Rylance’s resignation from the Royal Shakespeare Company is supported by fellow actor and Greta Thunberg.
The Guardian, Matthew Taylor; 27th June 2019
Culture Unstained co-director in the Independent asking why, despite growing opposition, BP still has the backing of directors and boards
Independent, Chris Garrard; 24th June 2019
Following Rylance’s resignation the campaign to rid the British Museum, Royal Opera House, National Portrait Gallery and the RSC from oil sponsorship is continuing
The Times, Grant Tucker; 23rd June 2019
Think piece putting Culture Unstained’s work on oil sponsorship in a wider context of ethical funding of the arts
New Statesman, Ellen Peirson-Hagger; 22nd June 2019
Mark Rylance’s resignation from the Royal Shakespeare Company is also covered by the BBC, Independent, The Stage and Le Figaro (French) among others. Jonathon Porritt discussed oil sponsorship of the RSC on the BBC’s World Tonight.
Extinction Rebellion joins the calls for the NHM to drop oil sponsorship
The London Economic, Joe Mellor; 20th June 2019
Culture Unstained Co-Director Chris Garrard talking about how the climate emergency shines a spotlight on BP sponsorship
BBC Radio 4; 19th June 2019
Despite growing controversy BP is still sponsoring new exhibitions at the British Museum
artnet, Javier Pes; 19h June 2019
Extinction Rebellion joins the call for the RSC to stop giving BP the social legitimacy they buy with their sponsorship
Stratford-upon-Avon Herald, Ben Lugg; 16th June 2019
Following the series of protests against oil companies sponsoring museums
Museums Association, Geraldine Kendall Adams; 14th June 2019
Following the letter from 200 musicians to Mayor Sadiq Khan about the BP-branded opera
Letter and XR protest also covered in The Ecologist.
The Stage, Georgia Snow; 12th June 2019
“It’s not the pictures that people are talking about. It’s the sponsor.”
The Times, Rachel Campbell-Johnston; 11th June 2019
Continuing the pressure on the National Portrait Gallery to drop BP as sponsor of their portrait award
Hyperallergic, Naomi Polanski; 11th June 2019
Branding of free screenings in Trafalgar Square by the Royal Opera House gives BP a ‘social licence to operate’.
Story also covered in The Times.
Rhinegold Publishing, Lucy Thraves; 11th June 2019
The NPG’s ‘BP Portrait Award’ comes under fire, including from one of the award’s own judges
The Guardian, Matthew Taylor; 9th June 2019
The artists’ letter was also reported on by the BBC, Telegraph, the Art Newspaper, artnet and Hyperallergic. Gary Hume was interviewed on The Today programme on June 10th and the issue was the focus of ‘Thought for the Day’ on Radio 4 on June 11.
‘BP Galleries’ in Aberdeen – the details mainstream reporting forgot to mention
DeSmog, Chris Garrard (Culture Unstained); 29th May 2019
Privatisation, oil sponsorship and other austerity-damages. Discussing some alternatives
Red Pepper, Clara Paillard; 16th May 2019
Another example of a cultural organization responding positively after artists raise ethical concerns about a sponsor
The New York Times, Alex Marshall ; 3rd May 2019
Culture Unstained weighs in on whether galleries should take money from the likes of big oil (audio)
BBC World, In the Balance; 21st April 2019
More high-profile artists call on more arts institutions to stop taking money from the Sackler Trust
Museums Association, Geraldine Kendall Adams; 17th April 2019
Opposition to fossil fuel sponsorship is growing, in the UK and in Europe
New Internationalist, Danny Chivers; 16th April 2019
Culture Unstained co-director Jess Worth debates Claire Fox on whether arts organisations should take money from big oil (audio)
BBC World Service, Business Daily; 9th April 2019
By taking their money, arts institutions give fossil fuel companies a ‘social licence to operate’
Social Power; 4th April 2019
Shell and Total among fossil fuel companies who will no longer sponsor the festival, following a campaign by Science Unstained
The Guardian, Severin Carrell; 3rd April 2019
Following the National Portrait Gallery’s rejection of Sackler Trust donation (video)
Sky News; 29th March 2019
Our co-Director Chris Garrard appears on an episode of the Moral Maze, discussing art funding from unethical sources (audio)
BBC Radio 4; 27th March 2019
Art activism and donations from the Sackler Trust recently rejected by major institutions
Dazed, Chris Hayes; 25th March 2019
Letter – National Portrait Gallery rejected Sackler donation, what about fossil fuel companies? (paywall)
FT, Chris Garrard (Culture Unstained); 24th March 2019
First major art institution gives up Sackler donation, following pressure from photographer Nan Goldin over its links to the opioid crisis
The Guardian, Nadeem Badshah; 19th March 2019
Reflections on the legacy of BP in Iraq, government influence, human rights, and the recent British Museum protest (blog post)
Platform, James Marriott; 14th March 2019
Report on BP in Iraq, government influence, human rights
Desmog UK, Sophie Yeo; 21st February 2019
Culture Unstained Co-Director Chris Garrard interviewed on Sky News ahead of BP or not BP?’s protest at the BP-sponsored British Museum (video)
Sky News; 16th February 2019
Interview on Equinor sponsorship at Science Museum (Norwegian)
Aftenposten, Erlend Skarsaune; 7th February 2019
BP launches its greenwash ad campaign
Red, Green and Blue; 1st February 2019
Our response to BP’s new ad campaign
Desmog, Chloe Farand; 29th January 2019