Will humour – however black – prove to be the best weapon? No mass mobilisation of the undead will be needed on October 31st
Imaginative stunts carried out with good humour appear to have disarmed Italian arms manufacturer Finmeccanica, who have “exercised their right to terminate” their long-standing sponsorship arrangement with the National Gallery a year early. Their planned Farnborough events will also now not take place.
This good news was recently sent by email from the National Gallery to the Alternative Nobel Prize winners, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).
“Italian weapon manufacturer Finmeccanica has been one of the National Gallery’s ‘corporate benefactors’ since 2006. The contract was due to run until 1 October 2013.
“As a result of its deal with Finmeccanica, the Gallery has hosted receptions for international arms fairs, including the official reception for London’s Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEi) in September 2011 – where ten repressive regimes, including Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia were among those invited to shop for weapons.
“It also hosted receptions during the biennial Farnborough International, between 2006 and 2010. Following the launch of the Disarm the Gallery campaign the Gallery announced it would not be hosting any events for Farnborough in 2012.
“Thousands of people have raised their concern with the Gallery in writing and through a series of creative interventions inside and outside the Gallery. Last month, BBC3’s The Revolution will be Televised featured a stunt where Peter Kennard’s Haywain with Cruise Missiles was added to the Gallery’s walls. Artists have supported the campaign through an open letter to the Gallery and by creating their own artworks inspired by its support for the arms trade.”
A list of linked corporations, predominantly from the oil, mining and financial sectors, can be seen here: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/about-us/support-the-gallery/corporate-support/list-of-corporate-members