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Monday, 14 October, 2002, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
Artist attacks government policies
Anish Kapoor
Kapoor was born in Bombay
Sculptor Anish Kapoor, whose giant sculpture was unveiled at Tate Modern recently, has criticised the British government, saying it does not understand culture.

Kapoor is one of the UK's most respected artists and his latest work Marsyas is 23 metres (75 feet) wide and 35 metres (115 feet) high and dominates the central hall of the London gallery.

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Anish Kapoor sculpture: Inside the Tate
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He told the Independent newspaper: "I don't think they get it - that in the deepest, deepest depths of human history, the cultural has always been a motivator of people."

Kapoor has been lobbying for the arts for many years and sits on the Arts Council of England, which distributes government and lottery funds to cultural projects.

'Amazes'

He said the government did not understand how important the arts could be to society.

"If they were able to bring it into their agenda at some level, it could and would transform society. It amazes me that politicians don't understand that," he said.

Anish Kapoor
Kapoor's work fills the gallery's main hall
Born in Bombay, he said art transformed his life.

"I became a different person overnight," he said.

The artist also criticised the selection process for the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial.

Kapoor was one of many artists who entered works to be considered as a memorial but lost out to the landscape artist Kathryn Gustafson.

"It was a shameful process," he said.

"It had this peculiar British way of some parts of the process being upfront and all these interested parties who aren't declared.

"It's necessary that Diana's family is involved and the DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sport) and if Gordon Brown is paying for it, then him, too, but they were all undeclared.

"It's a quagmire and I'm glad not to be involved."

It has taken 40 people about six weeks to build his new sculpture for the gallery's Turbine Hall.

The sculpture's title refers to Marsyas, the satyr in Greek mythology, who was flayed alive by the god Apollo.


In DepthIN DEPTH
BBC News Online looks at how the arts are funded in the UKArts funding
How the UK's cash for the arts is spent
See also:

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