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Hot potato is now a football; Views of the North.

I READ with interest the thoughtful letters about the High Bridge/ Waygood galleries/ studios from Tom Moore (Views of the North, January 13).

I think however he should declare an interest. As a successful independent artist, he clearly resents what he sees as subsidies going to a self-appointed elite.

I'm afraid art in this country has always been governed by self-appointed elites, from top to bottom, probably since the foundation of the Royal Academy, and this has always led to bitter recriminations amongst professionals.

Because of the mystique fine art creates for itself, fundholders feel they have to be led by experts who hold the key to this mystique and therein lie all the opportunities for abuse of privilege.

This is an historic problem which most of the body politic finds too trivial to tackle, especially at times of economic hardship, so a little money is thrown almost randomly at "culture" to stave off the criticism of "philistinism".

This is by the by, as the real problem with this project was that there was no problem at all in the days of the easy-money boom.

It has only become a problem since the Labour Party decided to turn the financial hot potato into a political football, so to speak.

You will note that the tactic worked and, I'm sure partially as a result, they have regained control of the city.

MARCIA ROMNEY, Morpeth, Northumberland
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 16, 2012
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