After the growing pressure that has involved the National Portrait Gallery in London for its collaboration with BP, National Galleries Scotland is the latest in the UK to take the initiative to end their links to BP. This choice will bring a change in the art world, now deeply involved in doing everything necessary to not have a dramatic impact on climate change.
BP is one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world and it has recently been targeted by Extinction Rebellion protests for sponsoring the Portrait Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The move taken by the scottish galleries is increasing, in fact, the pressure on the London gallery, which has been funded by the oil giant for 30 years.
The BP Portrait Award Exhibition will still reach the National Portrait Gallery of Edinburgh on December 7, but National Galleries Scotland has already defended itself by saying it would be the last time. Unlike the National Portrait Gallery of London, their Scottish counterparts have only held the art prize sponsorship for only a decade.
“At the National Galleries of Scotland we recognise that we have a responsibility to do all we can to address the climate emergency. For many people, the association of this competition with BP is seen as being at odds with that aim“, said tHe arts organisation in a statement.
It is hoped that these words will make the difference to put an end not only to the collaboration with the Scottish gallery, but also to that of the other arts organisations in the United Kingdom. In fact, other organisations such as the British Museum, the Royal Opera House and the Royal Shakespeare Company still cooperate with big oil and gas companies.