Damien Hirst: once a pickler of sharks, now associated with large wads of cash. Photograph: PR

The campaign against arts cuts is gearing up, and the techniques are tried and trusted ones. If you want to get a high-profile message across, sign up some celebrity artists. That accounts for the starry cast, including Damien Hirst, that has joined a campaign against coalition attacks on arts funding.

There is, however, trouble ahead. A poll by the organisers of the Threadneedle prize, which was reported by the BBC, found that two-thirds of its sample “agree with arts funding change”; only 16% of those questioned believed the public should be the main funder of visual art. A fifth felt visual art should get no state funds at all, while 66% said the majority of visual art funding should come from corporate sponsorship and private donations.


Jonathan Jones