British Museum

Tell the British Museum to drop BP!

Tell the British Museum to drop BP!

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BP has just announced it will be sponsoring some of our best loved cultural institutions, including the British Museum, for another five years.

When BP sponsors a museum, it doesn’t just hand over some money and let the museum get on with it. Instead it works to influence that institution -- on everything from what will be included in exhibitions to how the museum manages internal security.

And, in return for the cash, it gets cheap advertising, a veneer of legitimacy and opportunities to further its own business plans -- plans that include trashing our climate, collaborating with violent regimes, destroying indigenous lands and blocking desperately needed climate policies.

But there’s some good news. BP’s new  sponsorship deal won’t kick in until 2018, so we still have a chance to stop it in its tracks. If enough of us speak out, we can persuade the British Museum to cut its ties with BP.

British Museum: stop promoting BP and lending it legitimacy. Drop BP!

Over the past few years, huge public pressure has been mounting on cultural institutions to sever their links with the oil industry. And it’s working. One by one, important cultural institutions are turning their backs on Big Oil.

But now it’s time to ramp up that pressure. BP is trying to get its claws into the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House and the Royal Shakespeare Company with sponsorship deals that will last for five years. If it succeeds, it will be buying itself a ‘social license’ to carry on with its devastating business practices with some degree of social acceptability.

But if we can get those institutions to turn their backs on BP, it will be the nail in the coffin for Big Oil’s sponsorship of our culture.

And the odds are on our side. Earlier this year, after massive public pressure, Tate severed its ties with BP after 26 years, and the Edinburgh International Festival did the same. BP’s sponsorship of the British Museum is already hugely unpopular -- half of Londoners and 62% of the museum’s own staff oppose the idea. So let’s tell the British Museum to stand on the right side of history, and say no to BP.

Let’s tell the British Museum to drop BP!

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