Scottish arts group latest to cut BP sponsorship ties


The National Galleries of Scotland has severed Portrait Award funding ties with BP over the “climate emergency”.

It has become the latest arts organisation to distance itself from oil giants after Shell were snubbed by the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company dropped BP.

Trustees of the National Galleries of Scotland, which oversees several arts institutions, decided links to the fossil fuel company were “at odds” with their commitment to tackle climate change.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Scottish National Portrait Gallery

The public body oversees the Scottish National Gallery, Gallery Of Modern Art and Portrait Gallery.

As the annual BP Portrait Awards were announced for 2019, the organisation revealed its decision to drop backing from the oil giant for the annual prize.

A statement from the National Galleries of Scotland said: “We recognise that we have a responsibility to do all we can to address the climate emergency.

“For many people, the association of this competition with BP is seen as being at odds with that aim.

“Therefore, after due consideration, the trustees of the National Galleries of Scotland have decided that this will be the last time that the galleries will host this exhibition in its present form.”

Trustees thanked BP for its support with the Portrait Awards, which carry a first prize of £35,000 and a total prize fund of £74,000. The awards have been associated with BP for 30 years.

BP has been contacted for comment.