The catastrophic effects from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are now being felt in London. ArtsBeat reports that on Sunday night protesters swarmed the Tate Britain during a party to celebrate BP’s 20-year sponsorship of the museum. Some veiled individuals poured out dark liquid from BP-labeled containers in front of the building’s entrance and covered it with bird feathers, while others did the same in the gallery’s main hall. A group of activists, dressed in black, picketed the area. The official statement from the museum:
“BP has worked with Tate since 1990. Its support has been instrumental in helping Tate develop access to the Tate Collection and to present changing displays of work by a wide range of artists in the national collection of British Art.”
On Monday, The Guardian published a letter with more than 100 signatures of artists, critics, and curators denouncing the relationship between oil companies and the art community. BP donates over $1.5 million per year to art institutions, including the Tate Britain, the British Museum, the Royal Opera House, and the National Portrait Gallery.