19 July, 2006

Tate Gallery censured

United Kingdom - The Times

Tate Gallery censured for conflict of interest

"If it had been a company, the verdict would have sent shareholders into a panic," admonishes an editorial after Britain's Charity Commission censured the Tate Gallery for buying several works of art from its own board members between 1997 and 2004.

The ruling "leaves the Tate and its director, the formidable Sir Nicholas Serota, looking distinctly uncomfortable. ... The Tate’s directors genuinely seem to have believed that they were doing nothing wrong. Indeed, the practice of buying from serving trustees dates back to at least 1959.

Today’s Tate, however, is a hugely powerful institution that should be an exemplar. Sir Nicholas was genuinely contrite yesterday, saying that changes have already been made and that more will follow. ... Building a world-class art institution is a fine art. But it helps to get the basics right."

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