Saturday, March 8, 2014

Biennale of Sydney chair resigns in the wake of artist protests over links with Australia's offshore detention centers

Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, son of Biennale founding patron Franco-Belgiorno-Nettis, has resigned as chair of the Biennale of Sydney, a move that comes in the wake of artist protests over Transfield's links to Australia's off-shore detention centers for asylum seekers.

And the board has severed links with Transfield, the family-owned company that has backed the Bienale since its inception. This comes as a surprise in the light of a recent announcement on the longstanding relationship between the Biennale and Transfield and the Belgiorno-Nettis family. In a statement issued to the media the board said: "The Biennale's ability to effectively contribute to the cessation of bi-partisan government policy is far from black-and-white. The only certainty is that without our Founding Partner, the Biennale will no longer exist. Consequently, we unanimously believe  that our loyalty to the Belgiorno-Nettis family - and the hundreds of thousands of people who benefit from the Biennale - must override claims over which there is ambiguity".
Image: Luca Belgiorno-Nettis