LondonNet : Latest News Headlines
26/09/06
Theatre Museum to Close
- 'Money was not forthcoming' for plan for revamp

Judi Dench and Donald Sinden in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, part of the RSC Complete Works Festival. Image: Reg WilsonCOVENT GARDEN'S Theatre Museum is to close.

Attempts to secure funding for a revamp have proved fruitless, with the museum's controllers, the Victoria & Albert museum, and the Royal Opera House unable to find other partners to stump up cash.

"Though there has been a huge amount of moral support for the Theatre Museum, money for the most part has not been forthcoming," said Tony Hall, boss of the ROH.

"In addition, working with the V&A team over the past few months, it has been clear that the costs to freshen up the building and to give it a new lease of life are much higher than originally thought."

The museum is now likely to shut in January at the latest, unless campaigners against closure, including Vanessa Redgrave, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Donald Sinden (both pictured), can provide another twist in the tale.

"It's so absurd to close it over a piddling bit of money," said Sinden, referring to the UKP5 million reckoned the minimum amount to keep the Theatre Museum's doors open. Redgrave called on the government to step in to save the museum.

The V&A is now set to bring the contents of the Theatre Museum to its own South Kensington base.

"We remain totally committed to safeguarding and displaying these collections which celebrate Britain's unique theatrical heritage in costume and stage design," said V&A director Mark Jones.



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