BBC announces plan to share archives
The BBC has launched a massive program to share its film, audio and document archives with other arts institutions in Britain, marking a new direction for the public broadcaster.
Alan Yentob, the BBC’s creative director, announced Saturday the new initiative will provide archival access, historic materials and even technical assistance in collaboration with the Tate art gallery, the British Film Institute and the British Library.
“As an organization we have to make the most of the downturn by responding to it Ö the BBC has an obligation to share what we have got,” he told the Guardian newspaper. Yentob said the corporation was also in talks with the Royal Opera House and the National Theatre.
“I see the BBC as a broker in these times,” responded Yentob. “It is the next stage for us. We must make sure culture remains confident in this country.”
Yentob’s news also has the BBC signing a three-year agreement with the Arts Council of England, which will provide wider access to the arts and support young talent.
The broadcaster is also expanding its collaboration with the British Museum, which is already working with BBC Radio on a 100-part series titled A History of the World in One Hundred Objects, presented by the museum’s director, Neil MacGregor.
Yentob’s announcement comes only a day after British media had a field day listing the spending practices of BBC executives, including Yentob who was revealed to have spent £1,500 ( $2,700) on a staff Christmas dinner.
Other executives were also exposed, spending hundreds of pounds on sending flowers to talent, lunches with colleagues or actors and presenters, or sending cases of Champagne to television stars.