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Culture

Rare Roman Souvenir Acquired By The British Museum

The great David Ekserdjian deserves a museum of his own

8 August 2014 14:28

Ever since Mr Blair’s New Dawn of 1997, the dominant idea in public policy towards public collections has been ‘access’. The doctrine is more than half-right: art, antiquities etc paid… Continue reading

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'My Bed', Tracey Emin's most notorious work of art, is for sale. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Tracey Emin’s knickers – a short history of contemporary British art

29 May 2014 16:04

Tracey Emin’s bed is to be sold at auction this summer with a guide price of £800,000 to £1.2 million, although the man who sold it to Charles Saatchi has… Continue reading

19 Comments
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Racism is on the rise, apparently. What do we mean by ‘racism’?

28 May 2014 18:12

Well, how worried should we be about racism? The British Social Attitudes Survey says 3 in 10 Brits describe themselves as “a little “ or “a lot” prejudiced against people… Continue reading

286 Comments
Sajid Javid poster3-3

No, Sajid Javid isn’t a luvvie. That’s why he’ll be a great Culture Secretary

14 April 2014 19:58

I am taken to task by the Guardian’s Media Monkey for celebrating Sajid Javid’s elevation (as per the poster above) a little too much – and not caring very much that the… Continue reading

107 Comments
SajidJavidF

Sajid Javid’s first task is to recognise that the price of a cultural asset lies in its value as art

12 April 2014 10:30

The suggestion, made by the poet Michael Rosen and others, that Sajid Javid is not sufficiently cultured to be Culture Secretary is as ludicrous as it is pompous. The secretary… Continue reading

59 Comments
BAFTA Los Angeles 2011 Britannia Awards - Red Carpet

Ed Vaizey for the BM?

9 April 2014 15:28

There was only one topic of discussion at the launch of Nadine Dorries’s novel Four Streets last night – will Maria Miller survive? The conversation was particularly pointed because Ed… Continue reading

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DCMS

Let’s not stop at Maria Miller. Let’s get rid of the Department of Culture completely

9 April 2014 10:20

The arts world will not shed a tear at the news that Maria Miller has resigned. Though it was Jeremy Hunt who wielded the axe to the arts budget, it… Continue reading

72 Comments
Montpellier’s Antigone District by Ricardo Bofill. Photo: Patrick EOCHE/ Getty Images

France’s cultural excess is immoral (but I still love it)

21 February 2014 12:11

For a committed, if unsuccessful, capitalist, I enjoy French culture an embarrassing amount – every last state-funded drop of it. Give me five-act operas with cast lists the size of… Continue reading

12 Comments
The English probably regard immigrants from Anglophone nations like Australia as a more exotic version of the Welsh. But immigrants from Tunisia are a different matter altogether.

Immigration is about culture as well as politics

18 December 2013 12:38

Must say, I felt a bit defensive when I looked at the tables of origin for immigrants to Britain for the decades to 2011, helpfully set out in  The Daily… Continue reading

92 Comments
Turner Prize Exhibition Leaves England For The First Time

The Turner Prize lives the myth of constant renewal

3 December 2013 13:29

Let’s imagine for a minute that the Turner Prize is cancelled next year. Would anyone care? A few members of the artistic elite and a handful of artists perhaps, but… Continue reading

2 Comments
Hull docks circa 1829. It doesn't look like that now.

What is the point of having a ‘city of culture’?

20 November 2013 17:10

‘Hull has been named the 2017 city of culture. Better luck next year, Luton.’ So wrote the Telegraph’s Tim Stanley on Twitter. Nadine Dorries said: ‘Hull? City of culture? As… Continue reading

87 Comments
Tribeca Talks After The Movie: The List - 2012 Tribeca Film Festival

George Packer interview: The American Dream is dangerous because people yearn for it to be true

2 July 2013 16:27

George Packer is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of The Assassins Gate: America in Iraq, a book that received several prizes. Packer’s other non-fiction books… Continue reading

4 Comments
Fireworks light up the night sky above the National Stadium also known as the "Bird's Nest" during the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 24, 2008.(FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

Timothy Beardson interview: It’s urgent that China reforms

25 June 2013 11:32

Recent convulsions in China’s banks will not, I suspect, have surprised Timothy Beardson, a sinophile, veteran Hong Kong financier and author of Stumbling Giant: The Threats to China’s Future. He… Continue reading

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Culture wars

30 May 2013 15:46

Shadow arts minister Dan Jarvis set chins wagging today by suggesting that ‘well-placed sources in Whitehall’ had told him that the Department for Culture Media and Sport could be scrapped… Continue reading

3 Comments
Visitors At The Hay Festival 2011

This Britain: Maria Miller confuses economics with pleasure and beauty.

30 April 2013 15:46

Is it possible for a government minister to give a speech that is not a “keynote address”? That was my first thought upon reading Maria Miller’s speech at the British… Continue reading

2 Comments
Roy Lichtenstein, ‘The red horseman’, 1974.

Roy Lichtenstein: comic genius?

26 February 2013 10:24

Tate Modern promises that its forthcoming retrospective will showcase ‘the full scope of Roy Lichtenstein’s artistic explorations’, to which Spectator art critic Andrew Lambirth responded acidly: ‘I look forward to… Continue reading

0 Comments
It's all getting out of hand. Lynne Featherstone has waded into the Suzanne Moore 'transexual' row. Image: Getty

In defence of Suzanne Moore

15 January 2013 18:30

Tell me if you have heard this already but it appears that Suzanne Moore has offended the trans-gender lobby. She did this by writing an essay about women’s anger for… Continue reading

44 Comments
Which words should be placed on the first available ship out of the English speaking world? Image: Getty

Which words would you ban?

3 January 2013 12:38

Which words in current use would you ban? Lake Superior State University answers this question each year, with its famous ‘List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English… Continue reading

69 Comments
John K. Thornton believes that the creation of a militaristic ‘Atlantic World’ was driven by the hunger of European states for hard cash. Image: Getty.

The Atlantic, the ocean that made the modern world

26 November 2012 11:31

Just as the classical world was built around the Mediterranean, the modern world was built around the Atlantic. The Romans called the Med ‘Mare Nostrum’ – Our Sea. The Atlantic,… Continue reading

2 Comments
Robert Hughes' 'Culture of Complaint' is a brilliant guide to the various culture wars that have raged around us in recent days. Image: Getty

Robert Hughes – The novelty of the shock

18 September 2012 9:43

The real shock of the new came in 1991. It was sobering, and it was reverent, which aren’t exactly the first words one would associate with The Shock of the… Continue reading

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Spice

Spicing up my life

11 August 2012 17:34

I do not necessarily wish to imply I have the gift of prophecy. But this is either uncanny or part of some cosmic plan to aggravate me. Three years ago… Continue reading

8 Comments
Elizabeth the Great, Getty Images

Compromised by not compromising

24 July 2012 14:51

‘In a relationship, when does the art of compromise become compromising?’ Thus spoke Carrie Bradshaw. Such knowledge suggests that I have passed her tipping point; my compromises have compromised me.… Continue reading

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Riots and responsibilities

19 November 2011 17:09

The riots are fast in danger of becoming the forgotten issue in our politics. The social and cultural problems that they laid bare have been knocked out of the news… Continue reading

21 Comments
Ed-Vaizey

Cutting the arts and decimating culture

1 April 2011 13:00

Rationing Mammon emaciates the Muses. Plato knew it, and so does Polly Toynbee: it’s just simple cause and effect. And government cuts tend to be cyclical: seven fat years of… Continue reading

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What it is to be British

12 September 2010 18:04

What is it about the British and flag waving? I ask after watching last night’s superlative BBC Proms, a brilliant end to the best season for years. On HD and… Continue reading

99 Comments