• I can see absolutely no reason

    UK Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has described arts organisations outside London that cannot attract philanthropic funds as "pathetic".


    The government has encouraged theatres, galleries and other cultural venues to seek private funding as government and council grants are cut.


    Mr Vaizey said "every arts organisation in this country" should be able to attract philanthropy.


    But his comments were criticised by figures in the arts outside London.


    Mr Vaizey was asked at the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee whether it was realistic for all arts organisations to raise private funds.


    "I think it's very realistic," he replied. "I can see absolutely no reason why every arts organisation in this country cannot raise philanthropic funds.


    "I think there are all sorts of cultural, institutional barriers to that. I think that too many arts organisations think, 'well, we live in an area where rich people don't live, so they're not going to back the arts'. I think that is pathetic, frankly.


    He added: "Philanthropy doesn't mean a cheque of £5m. It could mean a cheque of £5, it could be a cheque for £500."


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