Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


The BBC's Jane Hughes
"The mayor's handling of the shooting has left even supporters breathless"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 17:57 GMT 18:57 UK
Giuliani forced into climbdown
1
People queueing to enter the Brooklyn Museum of Art
By Jane Hughes in New York

The row over a controversial British art exhibition in New York has ended with the city's mayor agreeing to drop his attempts to withhold funding from the museum which staged it.

Museum directors in the United States had argued that Mr Giuliani's action against the Brooklyn museum would set a worrying precedent.

This is an embarrassing climbdown for Mayor Rudolph Giuliani at a time when he is already facing political difficulties.


Virgin Mary by Chris Ofili
The painting by British artist Chris Ofili that so offended Mayor Giuliani
Mr Giuliani took offence at several works in last year's Sensation Exhibition but he particularly objected to a painting by the British artist, Chris Ofili, which depicted a Virgin Mary adorned with elephant dung.

When the museum refused to withdraw the work last September, the mayor said he was withholding its funding and launching efforts to evict it from its building. That provoked accusations that he was denying Brooklyn Museum its constitutional right of free speech and damaging New York's reputation as a cultural centre.


Museum Money
The art dispute has cost the city $5.8m under the court settlement
The city gives Brooklyn Museum of Art about $7.2m a year
The museum's total annual budget is about $23m
After a six-month legal battle, he has been forced to back down, to repay the funding he withheld and to agree never to withhold money from the museum again.

Museum officials have welcomed the settlement as a victory for free speech and artistic expression.


3
One of the exhibits from the controversial Sensation exhibition
A spokesman for the mayor said he was also happy because he felt it was time to end the hostilities.

But it couldn't have come at a worse time for him - he's been under heavy criticism for his handling of the police shooting of an unarmed black man. And for the first time in months his rival in the New York Senate race, Hillary Clinton, has pulled ahead of him in the polls.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Americas Contents

Country profiles
See also:

12 Mar 00 | Americas
New art scandal in New York
03 Oct 99 | Americas
Shock art show opens
30 Sep 99 | Americas
US Senate joins art row
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories