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|Battle Between Museums and Olympics for Lottery Cash |
- MPs worry about funding cuts if billions stay with sport 2012
MONEY promised to the London Olympics by the National Lottery should be handed back and used by museums and galleries, says an influential group of MPs.
The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee argue that the money, some UKP2.2 billion, is needed in the museum sector and that without it, there would be cuts in funding for exhibitions.
"It would be a tragedy if the gains made were now put at risk due to funding being cut off," said John Whittingdale, the committee’s chairman.
The prospect of cuts in funding was one of the reasons behind the Conservative Party’s plan, reported by LondonNet last week, for museums and galleries to move away from a free entry system.
Instead of scrapping free-entry – a hugely popular scheme - the committee want a guarantee that the UKP2.2 billion would come back to the usual Lottery projects and suggest selling land, after 2012, used by the Olympics as one way to achieve that.
In response the government has issued a statement in support, but one not backed by hard figures. "The lottery will share in the profits from the returns on the investment we are making in the Olympic Park," said a spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
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