Tate releases figures which show it received £2.5m from BP between 2007 and 2011

31 Aug 2016 News

The Tate has revealed that it received £2.5m from BP between 2007 and 2011, after it was ordered to reveal the figures by the Information Tribunal at the end of July.

A spokeswoman from the Tate said that BP had given the charity £350,000 in four of the five years between 2007 and 2011, except for 2010 when the charity received £1.1m. The spokeswoman said that the 2010 donation figure included funds for the Tate Movie Project.

The figures were released by the Tate to Civil Society News last Friday after a ruling was made by the Information Tribunal on 26 July, which said that the charity had to release the donation amounts within 35 days of the ruling.

The figures have also been released to the Information Tribunal, the Information Commissioner's Office and Brendon Montague, director of Request Initiative, the original requester. 

The decision by the tribunal overturned a previous, November 2015 decision made by the ICO which held that Tate trustees were right in not releasing the requested information. Montague originally made an FOI request to see the figures in the early part of 2012.

Despite releasing information pertaining to financial donations between 1991 and 2006, the Tate refused to release all of the information requested, up until 2011. That was, at least, until the 26 July ruling by the Information Tribunal.

The new figures now show that BP has donated £6.3m overall as part of its partnership with the Tate, which has been in place since 1991. That means that BP have donated approximately £250,000 a year to the Tate over the last 25 years.

Platform criticise 'paltry sum' donations 

While BP has since announced it won't be renewing its partnership with the Tate, the multinational recently reached partnership agreements with a number of other cultural institutions.

Commenting on the release of the donation figures, Emma Hughes, a spokeswoman for Platform, said: "The Tate gallery had been forced to reveal that during 2007-2011 BP was branding it's walls for a pittance, just £350,000 most years, that's less than 0.5 per cent of Tate's income.

"In 2010, as oil was gushing into the Gulf of Mexico due to BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster, the company tried to buy public support by quadrupling the amount of money they gave the Tate. This 'one year only' deal represented less than 1 per cent of Tate's funding.

"As BP fought over compensation for Gulf of Mexico communities in the US courts they were throwing money at the Tate in an attempt to de-toxify their brand.

"The Tate galleries have finally dropped BP sponsorship due to the opposition of thousands of art lovers, cultural figures and frontline activists but other cultural institutions like the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Shakespeare Company have just renewed their deals with BP.

"One again it seems like BP is being allowed to brand UK culture for a paltry sum."

A spokeswoman for the Tate declined to comment further on the figures.  


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