Art And Culture

BBC Bosses Blasted for Wasting Millions on Bizarre Art Projects

BBC Bosses Blasted for Wasting Millions on Bizarre Art Projects BBC Bosses Blasted for Wasting Millions on Bizarre Art Projects

The BBC has been blasted for spending millions of pounds on a bizarre “digital arts” project – featuring a puppet series on the Syrian uprising.

Bosses have pumped a staggering $5.6 million of taxpayers’ money into ‘The Space’, described by the broadcaster as a commissioner of “exciting” new digital art.

The BBC has promised to inject a total of $12.66 million into the controversial project, co-founded with Arts Council England three years ago.

The site features ‘Top Goon Reloaded’, a YouTube series by a group of Syrian artists described as “an online series of sarcastic and irreverent puppet theatre films.”

It also features a project by artist and composer Tuulikki exploring birdsong in Gaelic song, and a dance-based performance piece by popstar FKA Twigs, reports

Tory MP Damian Collins said: “I do not see how it can be within the BBC’s remit to sponsor digital art.

“It really stretches their point. Is this really something that the BBC should do, rather than other arts bodies which are well supported and better placed?”

It is thought to be the brainchild of Alan Yentob, the BBC’s creative director, who reportedly earns up to $510,000 a year. A source told the Sun: “The Space is Alan Yentob’s baby.

“He persuaded [director general] Tony Hall to invest the $12.5 million but at a series of meetings he has been unable to explain what ‘The Space’ is.

“Many BBC staff are outraged and also worried about how bad this looks.”

Yentob resigned as a director of The Space earlier this year and has been replaced by BBC executives Jonty Claypole and Lisa Opie, according to the paper.

The BBC has already been warned by Culture Secretary John Whittingdale that it could face swingeing cuts.

Last month he said the corporation should try to make “the same efficiency savings as we’re asking every public body to do”.

A BBC spokesman defended the broadcaster’s investment in ‘The Space’.

“The Space was set up, in 2012, by the Arts Council England in partnership with the BBC to support greater digital access to the arts – something the BBC is committed to supporting through its charter,” he said.

“License fee funding has been carefully used to support the development of artists and the cultural sector, and includes projects with National Theatre of Wales, Northern Ballet Theatre, Barbican Center, the RSC and Manchester International Festival,” he said.