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Tate’s tight finances

The opening of Tate Modern has proved to have tough consequences

The Tate is facing a “very tight” financial situation, although a spokesman said it was not a crisis and there will be “no deficit”. The fundamental problem is that opening Tate Modern has increased costs considerably, and the additional £6 million a year in grant-in-aid offered by the government covers only a part of these expenses. There is also concern that museums such as the Tate which resisted entry charges have affectively been penalised because of additional money which went to the charging museums when they introduced free admission last December. The 11 September incident has hit tourism, affecting Tate’s visitor numbers, but the opening of “Matisse-Picasso” on 7 May should be a big boost to bookshop and exhibition ticket sales. On another front, the Tate is having to replace two of its three top curatorial bosses beneath overall director Nicholas Serota. Interviews will be held this month for the director of Tate Modern (replacing Lars Nittve) and an advertisement is expected for the director of collections (replacing Jeremy Lewison).