William Eichler 30 March 2016

Bradford museum defends decision to move exhibition to London

A Bradford museum has defended its decision to move a valuable photography exhibition to London, despite local opposition.

The National Media Museum plans to relocate around 400,000 objects to a new ‘international photography resource centre’ at the Victoria and Albert museum in the capital, a decision that has provoked a lot of anger.

Speaking in front of a council committee, the museum’s director, Jo Quinton-Tulloch, defended the plan as ‘the right professional thing to do’ and argued it was a practical decision taken in light of a 30% cut to their government funding.

Last February, Simon Cooke, the leader of the Conservatives on Bradford council, described the move as an ‘act of cultural rape’ and called for the deal to be reviewed. A petition, which to date has 27,574 signatories, also calls for an end to what it characterises as ‘cultural asset stripping’.

Before the committee meeting, Cllr Adrian Farley said: ‘I have added this meeting into the work programme because of the public concern about what's happening at the National Media Museum.

‘A lot of local people have objected to more than 300,000 images and artefacts moving to London and I am concerned about the decision making process and who was informed and when.’

Council leader David Green said: ‘We have worked closely with the National Media Museum over the development of new galleries and have given financial support of a million pounds over three years to improve visitor numbers and experience.

‘The National Media Museum is really important to our city both culturally and economically and we will continue to support its development, working with partner organisations and citizens.’

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