These pieces seek to initiate and / or contribute to debates about the UK’s public policies in support of the visual arts. The Party Political Manifesto of each successful party elected during the three decades covered is criticised and reviewed, with suggestions and arguments being advanced for improvements to legislation, funding or policy.

There is a consistency of approach in these pieces, repeatedly arguing for such reforms as: the introduction of artists’ statutory moral rights (achieved in 1988); the introduction of legislation giving artists a right to a share of the profits of the resale of their works – artists resale rights (achieved in 2006); artists’ public exhibition payments (voluntarily introduced by some publicly-funded galleries); the introduction of ‘% for art’ legislation – to promote the integration and commissioning of art and architecture in public places; and the need for common EU cultural policies.

Wash-Out

A week is a long time in politics: rapid and unforeseeable changes can transform the political and economic landscape. During one week in April 2017, UK politicians made significant changes affecting …

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The Code of Art

The idea of art industry self-regulation is accepted by an increasingly wide range of art market professionals and their expert advisers, but there is no agreement amongst them on best ways and means …

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Art Industry Self-Regulation

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland during January 2015, leading world economist Nouriel Roubini publicly attacked the global art industry for being secretive and opaque, and called for …

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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

‘There are no votes in the arts. Nobody’s interested.’ This was the instinctive response of re-election obsessed Jim Hacker when bridling at Sir Humphrey’s insistence that his PM should speak at a bro …

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Regulating the Art Industry

Nouriel Roubini is a leading world economist, renowned for predicting the world economic downturn of 2007/8 years beforehand. At the World Economic Forum event at Davos in Switzerland in January 2015 …

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Moral Rights: A Suitable Case for Treatment?

Artists’ moral rights laws have been in force in the UK since 1989. Have they been operating well for the past twenty-odd years, or is there room for improvement? This question is triggered by two rec …

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Endangered Public Sculptures

Several currently running cases concern the legal status and protection of sculpture in the public environment. In November 2012 the London Borough of Tower Hamlets made a policy decision to sell Henr …

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Change of Art

On 18 October 2011, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a programme, Change of Art, exploring ideas to ‘rotate or retire’ public artworks that have become ‘tired, decrepit or meaningless’, in the course of which le …

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Deaccessioning Public Collections

During these straitened economic times increasing numbers of public museums and galleries around the world have been driven to consider deaccessioning works in their collections; and many have done so …

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Dire Straits – outside the gallery

No lies he wouldn’t compromise No junk no bits of string And all the lies we subsidise That just don’t mean a thing I’ve got to say he passed away in obscurity And now all the vultures are coming down …

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