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BP sponsorship off, but legal pressure is still on

The oil company BP announced last month that it would end its sponsorship of the Tate, citing declining oil revenue. But the London art collective Platform, a longstanding critic of the partnership, is pursuing an appeal that would require the museum to reveal details about BP’s past funding. “The public still has a right to know the details of oil sponsorship,” Platform’s Anna Galkina says. The appeal follows an Information Tribunal order last year in which the museum revealed that BP gave £3.8m between 1990 and 2006 (less than 0.5% of its overall budget). Platform’s new request seeks more recent details on BP’s funding, from 2007 to 2011. A Tate spokeswoman says that the Information Tribunal agreed that releasing the recent funding totals “is not in the public interest” and “upheld Tate’s view that in many areas the confidentiality…should be maintained”. The tribunal hearing is scheduled for 11 May.