HC Deb 01 February 1999 vol 324 cc590-1
31. Mr. Harry Cohen (Leyton and Wanstead)

Who is deciding what art will be displayed at the millennium dome; and if he will make a statement. [66790]

The Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting (Janet Anderson)

The New Millennium Experience Company is responsible for all aspects of the content and operation of the millennium experience. The company is considering options for a sculpture park outside the dome. There are no plans to display works of art inside the dome; however, some of the country's best creative design and artistic talent is engaged in ensuring that the development of individual zones reflects the project's innovative nature.

Mr. Cohen

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer, but when will decisions be made about the art to be in the dome? Will there be a public discussion about it? Will my hon. Friend lean on the national galleries to release some of their best work for the dome? Will the Government commission some art from the new generation of artists? Will there be a variety of art to reflect the millennium, but also some modern art to reflect the fact that the dome itself is an example of neurotic realism?

Janet Anderson

I thank my hon. Friend for that question. He referred specifically to the national gallery. I remind him that, thanks to action taken by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, everyone now has free access to the national gallery. We are always willing to consider ideas, but there are no plans at present to display works of art inside the dome. There will be 14 zones of exceptionally high quality, which will breathe real life into the core theme, which is "time to make a difference".

All the zones will show the ingenuity, imagination and talent of young British designers, of which we are very proud.