This is a guest post by Chris Garrard, Co-Director of Culture Unstained, a campaign group raising awareness of fossil fuel company sponsorship of the arts.
Last week wasn’t the best week for the reputation of oil giant BP. Greenpeace activists blockaded BP’s head office in London, shareholders took the company to task at its AGM in Aberdeen and protestors vocally declared the meeting “a crime scene“ as they were roughly dragged out by security. And on Friday, the biggest climate strike yet took place with young people leading protests in more than 1,400 cities across some 110 countries.
But if you caught the news last Thursday, there was a very different story being told about BP, with the oil giant being celebrated as a champion of the arts – with the company paying £1 million for a series of “BP Galleries” to be named after the firm as part of a major redevelopment of the Aberdeen Art Gallery.