Ulster Wins

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The Ulster Museum in Belfast has been announced as the winner of the £100,000 Art Fund Prize for 2010. You might remember from previous CD-Traveller stories that the Ulster has been in the lead position as voted for by you for the last few weeks. The judges picked the winner although the public voted by a small margin for the Ashmolean in Oxford over the Ulster. But through the weeks of voting it had been the Ulster in the lead.
So how is the money going to be spent?
Some will be spent on providing internships, some will go to assisting in the publication of research and the rest will be spent on web initiatives. You might well ask what is being done to improve the appeal to the public since they voted in large numbers for them to receive the award. I think that is summed up by Tim Cooke, the director of the Ulster, who said, “We plan to devise a special programme designed to extend knowledge of, and engagement with, the Ulster Museum collections across Art, History and Science.” He probably knows what he means.
The voting for the award raises a few issues. If it is open to a vote by the public, should the winner of the public vote be overturned by the judges? Secondly, when there is a public vote, should the voting be revealed so that the supporters of the museum can then go and out and lobby for people to vote to give them a greater chance of winning? The winner of the public vote probably won by less than 100 votes. Isn’t this almost eavesdropping for advantage? Admittedly all museums are in the same boat but those who can organise better win. After all 100 votes out of over 72,000 isn’t a lot to catch up..
So for the award next year, why shouldn’t the public still vote, but the Art Fund shouldn’t reveal the extent of the voting until the end of each particular section of the competition.

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