The severe budget crises created by the financial collapse and the government assumption of bank losses has had a direct impact on funding for the arts. In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron has made it clear that arts funding would have to be sacrificed. Sir Nicholas Serota has already expressed his frustration with this turn of events. But the Scottish National Gallery’s John Leighton has decided to take a different tack. He won’t fight the cuts or complain about them, the need is so self-evident. But he is taking the opportunity to remind the public of the value the arts have brought to the UK. Here’s how the Herald in Scotland reported his remarks:
Leighton acknowledged he would not know about any potential cuts until later this year, but would not spend time in between openly criticising potential funding losses.
Leighton said: “The most important thing is to set the case for the arts, how important it is for individuals, communities, the country and for everybody, to point out something like this festival and the variety and quality of art in it, and to show that art is something important.
“Yes of course we are [financially] modelling, we are looking at things and gathering information about but the future, but we should also be looking at the positive messages – look at how far we have come in the last 10 years here at the galleries – it has been phenomenal.”
He added: “We need people to be aware of the high calibre of the arts in this country, we have to dust down the superlatives and spread the word.”