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Victoria & Albert Museum

Letters: There was no political interference at the V&A

Restructuring proposals not the result of political interference

I am sure that, despite his letter in your May issue (Arm’s length or arm’s twist) John Mallet really understands as well as the next man that, when I wrote in my letter of 10 March in The Times that “we do not apply the arm’s length principle to the national museums and galleries”, I was saying no more than that there is no funding body between the Office of Arts and Libraries (now the Department for the National Heritage) and the national museums and galleries as there is between the Government and the subsidised theatres and performing arts bodies. If John Mallet believes that the restructuring proposals at the V&A were the result of political interference, he will believe anything.

Lord Armstrong of Ilminster

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Victoria and Albert Museum

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 20 July 1992