Does sponsorship compromise museum values?

Vote in the poll and have your say
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Rebecca Atkinson
Tate has been ordered to reveal details of its BP sponsorship in a legal case that raises again the issue of sponsorship and museums.

In a Freedom of Information ruling, the UK’s Information Tribunal has told Tate to disclose how much money BP has paid it as a sponsor between 1990-2006, as well as details of internal decision-making on the sponsorship deal. The case has been brought by the activism charity Platform.

Many museums seek sponsorship from companies for temporary exhibitions as well as permanent displays, but there have been concerns that chasing such money could compromise institutions’ values.

One respondent from a national museum said in the Museums Association’s (MA) 2014 cuts survey: “The need for funds is continually compromising content in exhibitions where individual supporters raise objections – this is particularly prevalent in exhibitions covering more contemporary content.”

However, others argue that sponsorship is a legitimate area of fundraising that helps build new relationships with external organisations.

Does accepting money from sponsors risk compromising museum values? Vote in the poll and have your say.

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