UK signs MOU with China over tourism - Museums Association

UK signs MOU with China over tourism

UK government gives over £4m to museums and tourism
Patrick Steel
The UK government has signed a memorandum of understanding with China that will see increased cooperation on tourism by improving travel connections and funding museums to create cultural collaborations with China.

The culture secretary John Whittingdale and arts minster Ed Vaizey met with their Chinese counterparts last week to agree the deal, which includes more than £4m of UK government funding to support cultural exchange between the two countries.

Tate will receive £1.3m to support a Chinese tour of its exhibition of British art, Landscapes of the Mind: British Landscape Painting (1700-2007); VisitBritain will receive £1.3m to take its culture is GREAT campaign to China; £750,000 will go towards staging the British Museum’s exhibition A History of the World in 100 Objects at the National Museum of China; and £700,000 will be put towards encouraging Chinese visitors to explore the north of England.

An additional £500,000 has been awarded to London’s Southbank Centre towards a new festival called Love China to take place annually from 2016-19; and £300,000 will support the Victoria and Albert Museum’s creation of a bilingual English-Mandarin database of pre-1900 Chinese cultural and literary sources.

Funding has also been granted to the British Library, Shakespeare’s Globe, the National Theatre and the Royal Opera House, all in London, to create cultural collaborations with China.

The Eden Project in Cornwall announced this week that it has signed a deal worth up to £5m for a new Eden Project in Qingdao, the company’s first development outside the UK.

And the mining corporation Rio Tinto has extended its sponsorship of University College London’s partnership with the Museum of Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum in Xi'an, central China, which is investigating the making of the Terracotta Army.

The chancellor George Osborne said: “Britain’s world-class institutions, education and brands are internationally renowned and respected, and a key element of our global economic and political influence.

“That’s why I’ve ensured that government funding will continue to support some of our greatest museums, galleries and theatre companies to boost their profile in China.

“As we enter a golden decade of UK China relations, reinforcing cultural links is vital and will also support the UK economy through promoting trade and tourism between our two great nations.”

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