Climate activists have recorded two major successes in their campaign to stop oil company sponsorship of cultural institutions.
Scottish Ballet ended its partnership with BP (formerly ‘British Petroleum’) on 31 January. The ballet company said its partnership deal no longer ‘aligns with the company’s green action plan – to be carbon neutral by 2030’.
Three weeks later, on 22 February, the National Portrait Gallery in London announced that it had also ended its BP sponsorship deal – after more than 30 years.
The British Museum is currently holding a BP-sponsored ‘World of Stonehenge’ exhibition, due to end in July.
The ethical sponsorship group, Culture Unstained, revealed in February that the museum has been holding talks with BP with a view to renewing its sponsorship deal, which lapses in spring 2023.
On 20 February, BP or not BP? staged a spoof corporate presentation in the British Museum on BP’s (non-existent) plans to drill for oil at Stonehenge. A notice pointed out that BP’s drilling operations are causing irreversible damage to ancient cultural sites elsewhere in the world.