Fury over Bradford move

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National Media Museum abandons film festival 

Civic leaders have reacted angrily to plans to change the focus of Bradford’s National Media Museum.

The Science Museum Group, which runs the Bradford museum wants to rename the former National Museum of Film and Photography as Science Museum North and shift its focus shifts towards science and technology. The museum is also cancelling its support for the Bradford International Film Festival. 

The news follows a decision to move the museum’s unique collection of more than 400,000 photographs and other objects to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. 

Bradford South MP Judith Cummins said she was “flabbergasted” by this week’s announcements. 

“Only last week the museum told me that they were focused on delivering a vibrant film festival programme. Now they are announcing that they are abandoning the hugely popular Bradford International Film Festival. It raises serious questions about the direction and focus of the National Media Museum.

She added, "The economic and cultural ramifications of abandoning the Film Festival could be enormous for Bradford. How can we seriously have an International Film festival and honour our status as the world’s first UNESCO City of Film without the National Media Museum at its centre. It just doesn’t make any sense."

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe Bradford council member for culture said that the if there was investment going into the V and A to hold the photography collection, why should it not go to Bradford. Cllr Simon Cooke, leader of the Conservative group on the council said that decision showed the Science museum ’cared not one jot for the heritage and history of the city.” 

 A NMM spokesman said: "We are looking at the best ways to reflect and promote our new focus on science and technology and this includes reviewing the name of the museum."

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