Bradford: Whittingdale won’t step in

Culture secretary John Whittingdale will not intervene to prevent the Royal Photographic Society’s collection from being moved from Bradford’s National Media Museum to the V&A.

The museum’s parent institution, the Science Museum, has said the Bradford branch will now concentrate on the science of light and sound in a repositioning of the NMM as a department of the main museum. Chair Dame Mary Archer said £7.5m was to be spent on a revamp, with possibly a name change to Science Museum North.

In response to criticism from leading artists including David Hockney and Mike Leigh, Whittingdale – who as chair of the Commons culture select committee in the previous Parliament had urged the Arts Council to devolve funding from London to the regions - said the Bradford case was different and there were good reasons for the collection being moved to London, and would not intervene. “I am very reluctant to micro-manage” he said.

 

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