August 2011

NMDC Newsletter: August 2011
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NMDC Newsletter: August 2011
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Welcome to NMDC’s monthly news update...
In this issue:

and much more…


NMDC welcomes Government response to the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property

The Government has announced that it will be endorsing all ten recommendations made by Professor Ian Hargreaves in his independent review of intellectual property (IP) and growth, stating that “The Government's goal is to have measures in place by the end of this Parliament that will realise the Review's vision and deliver real value to the UK economy, and to the creators and users of IP”. Of particular relevance to museums, libraries and archives are the provisions for a solution to the issue of orphan works (works within copyright for which the rights holders are either unknown or cannot be traced).  Research produced by the Collections Trust in 2009 found that over 50 million items held by publicly funded agencies such as libraries, museums, archives and universities were likely to be orphan works and therefore may not be able to be made accessible in digitisation projects because of copyright restrictions. NMDC believes the Hargreaves Review recommendations have the potential to radically strengthen innovation within the UK's research and development sector, and to inspire creativity and access to works held by cultural heritage organisations, in order to drive economic growth.  NMDC Chair Michael Dixon was co-signatory, together with other museum sector leaders, to a letter to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Universities and Science Minister David Willetts in June, urging implementation of the recommendations and highlighting some particularly important areas strongly supported by museums:
  • The UK’s implementation of EU sanctioned copyright exceptions, which will drastically help reduce the overheads, costs and risks associated with the use of important works in the care of cultural heritage organisations for specific activities. (Recommendation 5)
  • The introduction of format-neutral “permitted acts” or “exceptions” for research copying, parody, preservation, format shifting, archiving as well as text and data mining. By ensuring that computers can lawfully extract facts and data contained within a book, journal or database we can speed up scientific discovery and the innovation cycle with life-changing benefits. (Recommendation 5)
  • Private law should no longer be able to “trump” the permitted acts provided by statute. Without enactment of this key recommendation the interests of our sector, and Hargreaves' own recommendations themselves, will continue to be overridden by contracts. (Recommendation 5)
  • The establishment of a Digital Copyright Exchange, to introduce in law minimum standards of practice for collecting societies and to rectify the current paralysing market failure by finding legal solutions for mass digitisation and use of single orphan works. (Recommendations 3, 4 and 5)
  • A strong Intellectual Property Office with the appropriate legal powers, meaning that the UK will be able to respond more quickly to technological change than it has been able to do in the past. It will also ensure that the appropriate IP regime is in place to support all forms of innovation and that balanced public policy formation, based on evidence, can become a reality. (Recommendation 10)
The Government response to the Review includes a series of actions and a broad timetable for the implementation of the recommendations. Detailed proposals for consultation on this are to be announced in the autumn.  Government response  British Library press release


Dame Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library; Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate; and Beth McKillop, Acting Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum are among 22 representatives from the education and research communities who have signed a letter in the Daily Telegraph calling for changes to copyright law to support education and research needs.  The Telegraph (scroll down)


Arts Council England outlines new approach to Renaissance

Arts Council England (ACE) announced further details today about how it will deliver the Renaissance in the Regions funding programme for museums when it takes over this function from the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) on 1 October 2011.  ACE will take a new approach to three of the strands set out in MLA’s proposals for New Renaissance:
  • A programme of major grants – beginning with an open application process, similar to ACE’s National Portfolio programme.  This is a revision of the MLA 'core museums' concept.  The programme will look for “a group of museums with the appetite and capacity to play a wider leadership role in the sector in delivering on the Arts Council’s strategic goals.”  Full details of the funding criteria and application process will be made available in early September, and the application process will conclude early in 2012.
  • A strategic support fund – similar to MLA’s proposed challenge fund.  The details of this fund are still under discussion, and further announcements will be made in the coming months. 
  • Museum Development – continuing commitment to this area, with £3m investment and completion of the new approach the MLA was developing to strengthen the infrastructure for museum development.
The fourth strand of MLA’s New Renaissance proposals, National Programmes, will transfer to ACE on 1 October and continue as before.  This strand includes programmes to support standards such as Accreditation and Designation, the provision of national security advice, and initiatives including Kids in Museums and Museums at Night.  In addition, the Arts Council will continue to fund the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and PRISM.  In September the Arts Council will also publish a companion document to Achieving Great Art for Everyone, its 10 year framework for the arts, on how it will interpret its strategic goals for museums and libraries between 2012 and 2015.  This will also outline the benefits and opportunities the Arts Council believes exist for all its stakeholders as a result of its wider cultural role.  It follows the publication of Estelle Morris’ review (see below) on how the Arts Council could best approach its extended remit.  Arts Council

Morris Review says Arts Council strategic goals must change to include museums

Baroness Estelle Morris has completed a review of ACE's 10-year strategic framework, Achieving great art for everyone, and made recommendations on how ACE's five strategic goals could best reflect the museums and libraries sectors alongside the arts.  Baroness Morris argues that all five strategic goals need to be amended, and in particular that:
  • Goal 1: Talent and artistic excellence are thriving and celebrated should be developed to include collections, interpretation, research, international activities and national schemes to drive up standards; and
  • Goal 5: Every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts should be developed to reflect the breadth and depth of the work that already goes on in museums and libraries, from which the arts can learn.
Baroness Morris also argues that ACE needs a new over-arching goal to ensure that the arts and culture sector realises its potential as an essential part of a civil and civilised society.  Introducing the report Alan Davey, Chief Executive of ACE, said that the organisation would use “this review to frame our thinking and start a wider conversation with the sectors on how we work together to build a stronger cultural sector...It is important to understand that we see conversations like this as the beginning of a long term, on-going dialogue.”  Arts Council  Guardian article by Baroness Morris

A fifth of UK museums ‘devastated’ by cuts of 25% or more

One fifth of all UK museums have had their funding cut by over 25%, according to new research by the Museums Association (MA).  The MA's survey, The Impact of Cuts on UK Museums, found that for UK museums as a whole:
  • 22% of museums are reducing their opening hours;
  • 30% are cutting education staff, with curatorial and visitor services staff also facing a large number of cuts;
  • 29% have decreased the number of events, activities and outreach services that they offer;
  • 58% of respondents reported a reduction in their overall budget, including 72% of local authority museums.  5% reported budget increases;
  • 46% of survey respondents expect the quality of service in their museum to decrease over the coming year; and
  • 41% say knowledge and expertise are being lost at their museum.
161 individuals responded to the MA’s survey, representing 140 museum services of all sizes and types across the UK.  Museums Association

National strategy for museums sector in Scotland

A Museum Strategy Group has been established in Scotland and met for the first time on 4 July.  The group brings together representatives from across the sector including NMDC members John Leighton, Director-General of National Galleries Scotland and Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland, and aims to drive the development of a national strategy to help Scotland’s museums sector realise its full potential.  BOP Consulting has been contracted to work on the development of the strategy following a tender issued by Museums Galleries Scotland.  A public consultation will be launched in September.  Museums Galleries Scotland   

Marsh Awards for Excellence in Gallery Education

Engage and the Marsh Christian Trust will present an inaugural award in September to celebrate the achievements of those working in learning and education within gallery or visual arts contexts.  Four winners will be awarded £500 each to spend on their continuing professional development.  Freelancers, salaried staff and volunteers are all eligible to apply, and the deadline for nominations is 30 August.  Engage is a membership organisation representing gallery, art and education professionals in the UK and in 18 countries worldwide.  Engage back to top


National museums' fundraising income increases

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published figures on the charitable giving received by DCMS-funded cultural institutions in 2008-10, and charitable giving as a ratio of grant-in-aid.  These are DCMS impact and input indicators respectively.  Together, DCMS-sponsored museums raised the equivalent of £94.5m in contributed income (defined as any money or gift from donations, bequests, grants and sponsorship) in 2009-10, of which £17.5m was donated objects.  Excluding donated objects, national museums' contributed income increased by 13.4% to £77.0m in 2009-10, compared to £67.8m in 2008-09.  Over the same period, Arts Council England’s Regularly Funded Organisations' contributed income increased from £108.9m to £109.7m.  On average, DCMS-funded bodies contributed income was equivalent to 21% of Grant-in-Aid, although for many museums this was significantly higher, including the National Portrait Gallery, Sir John Soane's Museum and Tate, who each generated more than 50%.  DCMS

WeDidThis call for Arts Council to recognise ‘micro-philanthropy’

WeDidThis, a crowd funding website for the UK arts sector, has launched Crowds for Culture, a campaign calling on public funders and trusts to do more to acknowledge the role of ‘micro-philanthropy’ in developing a world-class funding ecology to support the arts.  WeDidThis is calling on Arts Council England to provide specific support for crowd funding and ‘popular’ fundraising from a broad base of small givers through the Catalyst Arts Fund.  WeDidThis

Arts organisations lack capacity to engage with individual supporters

Arts Quarter has launched updated findings from its ongoing Hidden Wealth Research Project - a collaborative capacity building programme seeking to support organisations to understand and reflect on their potential to engage with high net worth individuals as donors.  Among the 78 arts organisations who have participated so far, there was “clear evidence of their capacities to engage with individuals as high net worth donors.”  However the report also finds “clear indicators that high net worth individual giving is unlikely to work for all arts organisations.” In its conclusions and based on the evidence gathered though this project, the report questions the efficacy of the DCMS launching its endowment challenge programme “at a time when so many organisations are lacking the capacities to engage with individual supporters that would allow them to take full advantage of the scheme.”  Arts Quarter 


Philanthropy UK has an article on the £55m endowment fund in which some commentators argue that the funding will divert fundraising effort from revenue, which is a priority for many organisations in the face of funding cuts.  Philanthropy UK The Earl of Clancarty has written an article for arguing that the Government's “clear intention of permanently reducing public subsidies in favour of a philanthropic model of funding... would be a disaster for British theatre.”  He argues that “philanthropy is not attracted to the experimental but to success, not to the regional but to the metropolitan, not to small but to big.”  ePolitix back to top


National Trust cleared of negligence claim following boy’s death

The High Court in London has ruled that the National Trust was not to blame for the death of an 11-year-old boy and the injury of three other children when a branch fell from a 180 year old tree at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk in June 2007.  Mr Justice MacKay described it as the “cruellest coincidence” that the branch fell at the moment that the school party were underneath, and rejected the claim that the Trust's tree inspectors failed to exercise reasonable care in their task.  He noted that assessing the integrity of an ancient tree was “an art, not a science” and concluded: “It would also be requiring the National Trust to do more than was reasonable to see that the children enjoying the use of this wood were reasonably safe to do so.”  National Trust statement   BBC News 

Plans for Year of Creative Scotland in 2012

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Scotland's Culture and External Affairs Secretary, has announced plans for a three-year celebration of Scottish culture and creativity beginning with a Year of Creative Scotland in 2012.  Scotland’s Cultural Plan for London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 aims to take advantage of the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year, and the Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow in 2014, to “promote Scottish culture and creativity on the world stage, increase international and domestic tourism and develop Scotland's creative sector.”   Creative Scotland, the development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries, will invest £6.5 million of Lottery funds into a programme to support the Year of Creative Scotland, which will include:
  • Creative Places Awards - a £1 million open investment strand for communities with a strong track record of creativity and cultural tourism;
  • First in a Lifetime - a £2.5 million open fund to enable mass participation in high quality ambitious artistic experiences;
  • £1 million to support new cultural tourism activity; and
  • A £450,000 Festivals & Events Growth Scheme to enhance the offering of existing cultural festivals and events in 2012 Scottish Government

Cultural sector urged to respond to Draft National Planning Policy Framework

The draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on 25 July does not include recognition of culture in the planning process. The Government aims to make the planning system “less complex and more accessible, and to promote sustainable growth.”  The Theatres Trust has highlighted that while the new planning policy recognises the need for retail, leisure, commercial, community services and residential development, the only references to culture are in relation to heritage conservation and veteran trees.  The Theatres Trust is urging those who care about culture and those who are responsible for the provision of cultural services and facilities including theatres, arts centres, galleries and museums to respond to the draft NPPF calling for the policies on creating ‘sustainable communities’ to recognise that the planning system needs to deliver the right cultural facilities to meet local needs.   English Heritage and the Heritage Alliance have also raised concerns about several areas of the draft NPPF, particularly the presumption in favour of sustainable development, which it argues would result in a downgrading of protection for the historic environment.  Once brought into force, which will be Christmas 2011 at the very earliest, the NPPF will replace all planning policy, including the current Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment.  The consultation closes on 17 October 2011.  DCLG  Theatres Trust   Heritage Alliance

Mayor’s new London Plan outlines support for culture

The Mayor of London has published his London Plan, a spatial development strategy setting out an integrated economic, environmental, transport and social framework for the development of London over the next 20–25 years.  Chapter 4 outlines support for and enhancement of arts, culture, sport and entertainment provision.  It calls on London Boroughs to designate and develop cultural quarters to accommodate new arts, cultural and leisure activities, enabling them to contribute more effectively to regeneration; to promote and develop existing and new cultural and visitor attractions; and to provide arts and cultural facilities in major mixed use developments.  London Plan

London 2012 Olympic construction on time and costs reduced

The anticipated final cost of the London 2012 Olympic construction programme has reduced.  The Government's July 2011 Quarterly Economic Report show that the overall funding package for the Games remains at £9.298bn, and the anticipated final cost of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) programme is £7.250bn – a decrease of £16m on May’s report.  In total £870m in savings have been achieved by the ODA since the November 2007 baseline budget was agreed, including £33m in the last quarter.  The construction of venues and infrastructure is almost complete with five Olympic Park venues already finished.  Meanwhile, an additional £3.1m has been released for a small number of additional events as part of the London 2012 Festival.  DCMS

New ‘Exceptional Talent’ route for UK Visas

The Government has announced a new 'exceptional talent' UK visa route for recognised leaders or potential leaders in the fields of science, humanities, engineering and the arts.  Under the scheme, Arts Council England, the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the British Academy will assess applicants from their respective fields of interest and make recommendations to the UK Border Agency.  Together these bodies have been assigned a total of 1000 visas to nominate for the current financial year, during which the scheme will operate as a pilot.  The alternative routes through which artists, scientists and engineers can presently enter the UK will remain open.  Home Office   Arts Council

Supporting growth in the arts economy

Arts Council England (ACE) has published Supporting growth in the arts economy, a think-piece by Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy which illustrates the synergies between the arts and the creative economy.  The paper will inform the ACE’s policy on the arts and the creative economy.  Arts Council

Turner Contemporary hits annual visitor targets in first three months

Turner Contemporary, Margate’s new art gallery, surpassed its 156,000 visitor target for the year just three months after it opened.  The gallery, which opened in April, received over 45,000 visits in its first ten days.  Audience research reveals 48% of visitors come from the local area, Thanet, and 5% of visitors had never been to an art gallery before.  Southeastern Trains has reported a 30% rise in the number of people using Margate railway station since April, and local business owners have reported income up to double that of the equivalent period last year.  Turner Contemporary   Arts Council


The Royal Collection Trust, the charity that curates and conserves the works of art works of art held by The Queen in right of the Crown, has published its annual report for 2010-11 revealing a £7.3m increase in income to £41.7 million, including an 8.3% increase in admissions income and 17.8% increase in retail sales.  Royal Collection The Globalisation: The Future of Research Institutions conference in London on 9 November aims to bring together research leaders from across HEI's industry and the public sector to explore the latest thinking and developments in global research strategies.  Sixteen London Underground stations have been given Grade II listed status by Heritage Minister John Penrose MP, on the advice of English Heritage.  Three other stations, all designed by the modernist architect Charles Holden, have had their listed status upgraded to Grade II*.  DCMS Architects, critics, museum professionals and academics will debate the principles and practicalities behind recent displays of Greek and Roman antiquities in a one day colloquium at the Fitzwilliam Museum on 23 September. The day culminates in the 2011 Severis Lecture given by Professor Dimitrios Pandermalis, Director, New Acropolis Museum, Athens.  More back to top


Measuring national well-being

On 25th July, at an event chaired by Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Office of National Statistics launched a report on measuring well-being.  The aim of the programme is to develop and publish an accepted and trusted set of National Statistics which help people understand and monitor national well-being.  As part of this, ONS set up a national debate to gather views on what matters to people and what influences their well-being.  NMDC responded to this consultation, which attracted over 34,000 responses and highlighted that the key areas that matter most to people include our health; connections with other people such as family and friends and the local community; job satisfaction and adequate income and wealth; work-life balance; meaning and purpose; the environment; and government services.  The value of cultural and creative opportunities to wellbeing was also highlighted as important by people's responses. As well as holding the debate, in April the ONS started to measure subjective (individual) well-being by including four new questions in the Integrated Household Survey (IHS).  Around 200,000 people are being asked to rate their ‘life satisfaction’ on a scale of nought to ten, as well as how happy and how anxious they feel, and the extent to which the things they do in life are worthwhile.  The first annual results will be available in July 2012.  ONS plans to make interim results available.  National Statistician's report  ONS press release

Ministers dispel health and safety myths about school trips

The Department for Education (DfE) has published revised health and safety guidance for schools summarising how the existing health and safety law affects schools, local authorities, governing bodies and staff – particularly in relation to school trips.  This advice has been reduced from the previous 150 pages to just eight pages, with the DfE seeking to lay to rest claims that “written risk assessments – some totalling up to 100 pages – must be completed for every activity that takes place outside of school, such as visits to museums.”  The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has also published new advice for schools organising trips.  The guidance urges a common sense approach, and aims to make it easier for schools to give pupils more opportunities to learn outside of the classroom.  DfE

New code of conduct on high quality internships

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Gateways to the Professions Collaborative Forum, of which Arts Council England is a member, have published new guidelines for employers entitled the Common Best Practice Code for High-Quality Internships.  The guidance defines what an internship should involve and defines best practice in relation to preparation for hiring an intern; recruitment; induction; treatment of the intern; their supervision and mentoring; and certification, reference and feedback.  The Code makes clear that interns are legally entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage unless they are volunteers (and therefore under no obligation to perform work or carry out instructions, with no contract or formal arrangement and no expectation of any reward for their work) or students undertaking work placements as part of a higher education course.  BIS

Government Departments cut carbon emissions by 13.8%

Figures released by the Cabinet Office this week show that all government departments have met their targets to reduce carbon emissions over the last year, saving 13.8% across the civil service. DCMS achieved a 16.8% reduction in carbon emissions and the National Archives has achieved a reduction of 17.7% in carbon emissions. Number 10  National Archives  

Government announces renewed focus on cities

Greg Clark MP, Planning Minister in the Department for Communities and Local Government has been appointed to the new post of Minister for Cities (reporting to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills), in addition to his existing responsibilities. Mr Clark’s appointment is part of a Government commitment to “new support for cities in order to harness their potential to drive growth and prosperity.”  The initial focus is on the “Core Cities” or the eight largest cities after London:  Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.  A new Ministerial Group, to develop new ideas for cities and consider the impact of existing policies, is also being established and will be chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.  Lord Shipley, former Leader of Newcastle City Council, will also act as an advisor to the Government on cities policy.  Cabinet Office

HM Treasury launches Coastal Communities Fund

HM Treasury announced details of a new Coastal Communities Fund on 22 July, designed to boost the economic development of seaside communities across the UK supporting a wide range of projects, including those that support charities, the environment, education and health.  The fund will be financed through the revenues that are raised by the Crown Estate’s marine activities each year: in April 2012 there will be £23.7m available in the Fund, a 50% share of the £47.4m revenue raised by the Crown Estate’s marine activities in 2010-11.  The Government is in discussion with the Big Fund, part of the Big Lottery Fund, about the detailed terms on which they could deliver the funds to communities.  HM Treasury

HMRC reconsiders VAT treatment of Design and Build Contracts

Following legal representations made by the Charity Tax Group (CTG), HM Revenue and Customs has agreed that there is sufficient legal argument to allow the zero rating for design and build composite supplies to continue.  HMRC had previously  had proposed to change to the VAT treatment of Design and Build contracts, which would mean that the services of architects and other professionals would be excluded from zero rating of construction services of a qualifying building.  Charity Tax Group

Think again about English Baccalaureate, say MPs

A report published by the House of Commons Education Select Committee on 28 July strongly criticises the Government's decision to introduce the English Baccalaureate (EBac) and argues that the current arrangements for certification of the EBac should be shelved.  Among its concerns, the Committee noted that a “focus on a fairly narrow range of subjects, demanding considerable curriculum time, is likely to have negative consequences on the uptake of other subjects.”  The Committee heard evidence of the potential impact on subjects including religious education, art, music and ICT.  Select Committee


10 Downing Street is for the first time hosting an exhibition of some of the UK’s finest contemporary craft.  DCMS DCMS has published its annual report and accounts.  The Department underspent its Estimate by £100m (1.9%) in 2010-11.  DCMS In response to a Parliamentary Question from Steve Rotheram MP, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport reported that following the DCMS voluntary redundancy scheme run earlier this year, 44 members of staff had left the Department as at 30 June 2011.  The Department has spent £2,891,000 on redundancies since May 2010.  Parliament back to top


What do people want from museum apps?

Tate and Vodafone have announced a new partnership to develop online and mobile technologies for Tate’s galleries and website.  The partnership launches with Tate Debates, a weekly online discussion on Tate’s blog to encourage people to share their ideas and opinions about art.  The first Tate Debate launched on 28 July asked what people want from mobile apps in galleries and museums.  Further plans will take shape as the relationship progresses, including finding innovative ways to use mobile devices and apps within the gallery.  More  Tate Debates

Help Tag The Nation's Oil Paintings‏

Last month we reported on the launch of Your Paintings, a new website from the BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF), which will include all 200,000 oil paintings in the national collection by the end of 2012.  PCF is now promoting the Your Paintings Tagger, inviting the public to help tag the paintings.  Your Paintings Tagger

Roman London revealed with augmented reality

Museum of London has joined forces with AETN UK’s flagship channel HISTORY™ to develop a new app which gives users the opportunity to see Roman London as it was 2,000 years ago.  Streetmuseum Londinium will direct users to locations across London where they can immerse themselves in the sights, sounds and remains of Roman life.  Users can digitally excavate Roman artefacts, using their finger to dig and by blowing on their iPhone, to gradually reveal the objects where they were first found in the capital.  Museum of London


Artfinder and the Dulwich Picture Gallery have launched a new app for the Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters exhibition which uses image recognition technology to identify what picture the user is looking at.  The app then provides audio commentaries, text and biographies for the selected works.  Dulwich Picture Gallery Artfinder The National Maritime Museum's new Compass Card offers all users a free e-book from the Caird Library collection, with the title chosen to reflect objects selected by the visitor during their visit to the Museum.  More back to top



The Prime Minister has made the following appointments:
  • Dame Jenny Abramsky reappointed as Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) for a further three years.  Kim Evans OBE and Hilary Lade have also been reappointed as NHMF Trustees.  More
  • Professor Christopher Gilligan appointed to the Board of the Natural History Museum.  He is a Mathematical Biologist and Head of the School of Biological Sciences at University of Cambridge.  More
  • Penny Hughes and George Iacobescu reappointed as Trustees of the British Museum for a further four years.  More

UK National Commission for UNESCO

UK National Commission for UNESCO now has a more focused brief, a new constitution and a new smaller Secretariat.  Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan MP has approved the appointment of a new Board, including the reappointment of Professor W John Morgan as Chair, together with deputy Chairs Sue Davies and Tim Williams.  James Bridge has been appointed as the new Head of Secretariat.  The changes follow the outcome of the Multilateral Aid Review announced by DfID in March 2011, which confirmed the UK would continue to be a member of UNESCO.  UNESCO UK


Christoph Grunenberg, Director, Tate Liverpool, has been appointed as the Director of the Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany.  He will take up his new post in November.  Christoph leaves Tate after a decade as Director of Tate Liverpool, which with an average of 600,000 visitors annually is one of the most successful galleries of modern and contemporary art in the world.  More  Anna Brennand has been appointed to the Board of the Museums Association with responsibility for the financial portfolio.  She is deputy CEO and director of finance and resources at Ironbridge Gorge Museums.  More back to top


Criticism of Italian Government's management of archaeological sites

Italy’s Court of Auditors has published a An Enquiry into the State of Maintenance of Archaeological Sites, which is criticises Italy's Ministry for Cultural Heritage and the way its responsibilities are divided up between national, regional and local bodies.  The Art Newspaper reports that the enquiry found multiple failings in maintenance, security, management and data collection between 2007-2009.  The auditors concluded that the amount of money needed “far exceeds the available resources, although there is no doubt that the proper conservation and promotion of this heritage would have a positive impact on the tourist industry”.  The Art Newspaper

Yale establishes Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage

Yale University has announced the creation of the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, funded by a gift of $25 million from Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.  The Institute will draw on the personnel and material resources of the Yale University Library, the Peabody Museum of Natural History, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Office of Digital Assets and Infrastructure. Curators and staff from these institutions will collaborate with faculty from chemistry, engineering, computer science, and other departments to work on solving conservation challenges.  Yale University

Museum achieves new environmental standard

Auckland War Memorial Museum in New Zealand has become the first museum in the world to be awarded the CEMARS (Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme) certification. CEMARS certification confirms measurement of the Museum’s greenhouse gas emissions in compliance with ISO14064-1, the international standard for quantifying and reporting an organisation’s carbon footprint.  It also certifies that plans are in place to reduce emissions. Auckland Museum has reduced its electricity consumption by 6% in the past year.  Auckland Museum back to top


Major museum projects open

As we reported in last month's newsletter, July saw four major new museum buildings open to the public: The National Museum of Art (opened 9 July) enabling the full range of Wales’ world-class art collection to be displayed together at the National Museum Cardiff. Sammy Ofer Wing, National Maritime Museum (opened 14 July) a £36.5m capital project which will enable the Museum to change completely the way it presents its galleries, exhibitions and public programmes. Museum of Liverpool (opened 19 July) the largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century, and which aims to be the world’s greatest urban history museum. National Museum of Scotland (opened 29 July) a £47.4m transformation of the nineteenth-century building, with sixteen new galleries presenting the sciences, humanities and culture, together under one roof. Fort Nelson, Royal Armouries' national collection of artillery, will also unveil its redevelopment on 5 August.  The £3.5m project has created a new visitor centre, café and new galleries, including the Voice of the Guns gallery.  More 

Paintings attacked at the National Gallery

Two paintings by Nicholas Poussin were sprayed with red paint in an incident at the National Gallery just after 5pm on Saturday 16 July.  The Gallery reported that prompt action by conservation staff ensured the two works, The Adoration of the Golden Calf and The Adoration of the Shepherds, sustained little damage and they were back on display within 24 hours.  A 57-year-old man was arrested by police.  BBC News Commenting on the attack, Jonathan Jones in the Guardian said, “museums should be more severe on visitors” and charge admission to cover the cost of additional security scanning.  Guardian

The Last of England – not for sale

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) was forced to issue a quick rebuttal on 14 July when an article in the Independent appeared to suggest that BMAG was selling one of the most treasured works in its collection, The Last of England by Ford Madox Brown.  In a statement, Rita McLean, Director of BMAG, said the report was “wholly inaccurate and the reporter was told in no uncertain terms that there were no plans to sell paintings from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery collection.  We have requested a correction from the Independent and wish to make it clear there is no truth in this suggestion.” The main focus of the article was on the sale of works from Bolton Museum, including work by Sir John Everett Millais.  Bolton Council is selling 36 works from the Museum collection to fund a new collections store.  Birmingham statement     Bolton Museum statement   Independent article    

Tsunami memorial opened at the Natural History Museum

A memorial to the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami has been officially opened in the grounds of the Natural History Museum. The 115-tonne, 3.7-metre single granite monolith was designed by Carmody Groake following months of dialogue with UK survivors and bereaved families.  The memorial was funded by a £550,000 grant from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and was opened at a ceremony attended by HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.  Natural History Museum


The British Library has announced a £9m fundraising campaign to acquire the St Cuthbert Gospel for the nation. Created in the 7th century and intimately associated with one of Britain’s foremost saints, the Gospel is the earliest surviving intact European book and one of the world’s most significant books. More The V&A has announced it is to open a permanent new gallery to show highlights from its historic collection of photographs this autumn, significantly extending the display space dedicated to photographs at the Museum.  The first museum to collect and exhibit photography as an art form, the V&A now holds the UK’s national collection of art photography, one of the largest and most important in the world.  The Photographs Gallery will open on 25 October with a display of works by key figures to chronicle the history of photography from its invention in 1839 up to the 1960s.  More The National Gallery and the Louvre have announced a unique collaboration with an agreement to lend for the first time two masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci. The Louvre's version of Leonardo’s Virgin of the Rocks will be shown alongside the National Gallery's version for the very first time in the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Painter of the Court of Milan in London this autumn.  The National Gallery will lend The Burlington House Cartoon - Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and John the Baptist to the Louvre next spring, to be displayed alongside the Louvre's The Virgin and Child with Saint AnneNational Gallery The National Portrait Gallery will become the first museum to create a five-sense visitor experience on 5 August.  ReAnimate, part of the Gallery's programme of late openings, Late Shift, will explore body and movement and visitors will be able to listen to sonic landscapes and DJ sets, see exhibitions and films, taste cocktails and even be intoxicated by perfume created especially for the Late Shift by scent artist Sissel Tolaas.  More Big Pit: National Coalmining Museum in Wales is introducing a new apprenticeship scheme aimed at attracting aspiring engineers, who wish to specialise in mechanical and electrical engineering. The Museum is working in partnership with Gower College Swansea, where the trainees will study for their formal qualifications.  More 

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