Hype does not hide truth about the M shed
THE city council's overblown and inflated claims over M shed have been shown up – it doesn't feature at all in The Independent's list of the top 50 museums in the country, whereas the ss Great Britain does.
We were promised a "world class museum for Bristol" for the cost, suggesting something truly outstanding. The council's self-serving propagandists should understand that exaggerated and deluded hype takes us away from the truth. M shed is just not in the top league for quality.
SO THE City Council is thinking of handing over the running of its museums and galleries to a private "charitable trust", in order to promote flexibility and raise funds.
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It has done very poorly on raising private funds in the past compared to other places, so it's hard to see why it will succeed now. It wanted to raise £2.5 million for the M shed, but got nowhere near this. The museum service has in the past commissioned several expensive reports from firms of consultants into how it could do things, spending many thousands of pounds of taxpayers' scarce money, but it failed.
There is little reason to think that independent funders will now be any more willing to support M shed's funding black hole or the costs of running the other sites.
And visitors to the museums will continue to give very little per head, because they are free. It would be far better to cut out some of the expensive layers of senior management and inefficiency in a top-heavy museum service, and face up to past mistakes.