June 19, 2018

Campaigners condemn BP sponsorship of Iraq exhibition at British Museum

Press release by BP or not BP?

LONDON — Theatrical action group BP or not BP? have released the following statement in response to the British Museum’s announcement this morning that a major upcoming exhibition featuring objects from modern-day Iraq will be sponsored by the oil company BP. The announced exhibition –  I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria – will open in November 2018 [1].

In 2002, before the last Iraq war, a government memo revealed that BP was ‘desperate to get into Iraq’ [2]. Now campaigners believe BP is shamelessly profiting from Iraq’s fascinating history as well as its oil.

A spokesperson for BP or not BP? said:

“We are horrified to see a BP logo attached to an exhibition of objects from Iraq. Given the company’s history of supporting and profiting from war in the region, why is the British Museum allowing BP to gain credibility and positive profile from association with the history and culture of Iraq? This will not go unchallenged – visitors will see through BP’s cynical branding of the exhibition and the museum should expect significant protests over this.”

BP or not BP? have staged fifty protest performances at oil-sponsored cultural institutions since 2012, including more than thirty at the British Museum [3].


Notes for editors

[1] britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/ashurbanipal.aspx
[2] independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/secret-memos-expose-link-between-oil-firms-and-invasion-of-iraq-2269610.html
[3] bp-or-not-bp.org/performances-and-films/