In February, when the British Museum closes the doors to its latest BP-sponsored exhibition, it will also mark the official end of its current 5-year sponsorship with this major polluter. But, with just weeks left to go, the British Museum still hasn’t announced whether it will sign-up to a new sponsorship deal with BP or – after years of opposition – finally cut its ties to fossil fuel funding!
So we need you to join us on Saturday 18th February – the final weekend of the exhibition – for a mass creative action marking the end of this current BP sponsorship deal. But whether we will be there to celebrate a seismic shift as BP is dropped – or escalate our action if the deal’s renewed – is now up to the Museum’s Director!
Message us at bp-or-not-bp.org/contact with the words “Drop BP” and we’ll send you more details. Please share this callout far and wide! The action will take place from 12:00 midday. Please book a pre-booked admission slot, as the the Museum won’t let you in without one. You can access the booking page here, and select a time slot before noon.
Why we’re taking action
From record-breaking floods to hurricanes and wildfires, climate impacts are intensifying around the world. The time to act is now. But BP is planning to increase its spending on oil and fossil gas.
And the British Museum has backed BP for decades, proudly displaying its logo on the wall as the company obstructed climate action, partnered with repressive rulers and explored for new fossil fuels. But just a few months ago, the Museum’s Chair of Trustees – a certain George Osborne – expressed his wish for the Museum to “no longer [be] a destination for climate protest but instead an example of climate solution.” Interesting words coming from an institution that has happily engaged in a marriage with a huge oil giant since 1996.
Over the years, we have invaded many spaces in the British Museum with creative resistance and disobedient performances, showing solidarity with those impacted by BP’s business. Whether with melodic violins, a giant Trojan horse or underwater creatures, our message has remained the same: There is no place for fossil fuels in our cultural institutions. There is no place for fossil fuels in a fair, just, and sustainable society.
If the British Museum does finally end its BP sponsorship in February, it will be a seismic shift – but it won’t be off the hook. Dropping BP doesn’t erase the British Museum’s dodgy doings and its galleries are still full of many artefacts that communities want returned. The task of decolonisation means taking their repatriation seriously. The Museum’s rooms still honour the names of fossil fuel tyrants and dubious donors – its main lecture hall is named after BP. If the Museum is to become a genuine destination for climate solutions, there is still much work to be done.
With your support, we have already made SO much progress kicking fossil fuels out of culture. But there is still more work to do.
So join us to CELEBRATE the British Museum’s breakup with BP…or ESCALATE our creative resistance if it commits to a new partnership with BP.
Join us on Saturday 18th February.
BP must leave the building.
Once and for all!