Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 01/27/2008 - 00:30

Polar bears expire at Bristol Museum, Dec 07PRESS RELEASE, January 26th 2008

Shell’s two year tenure as sponsor of the Natural History Museum’s ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ exhibition has come to an end. A determined, creative two year national campaign, coordinated in part by the direct action group Rising Tide and its Art Not Oil (1) campaign, helped to force the NHM to ditch Shell.

Using a combination of creative direct action (2) and a ‘Shell’s Wild Lie’ exhibition (3), Rising Tide has been pressurising the Museum and partner BBC Wildlife magazine to acknowledge that one of the world’s largest oil companies is not a good sponsor for an exhibition that has become a powerful testament to the beauty, diversity and fragility of the natural world.(4)

This campaign, and the significant public pressure it mobilised, has now paid off.

London Rising Tide’s Chris Hyde said: ‘We are delighted that the Natural History Museum has seen sense and bid farewell to Shell in what must rank as the most absurd and appalling sponsorship deal ever seen. Now it’s time for the Museum to turn down cash from climate-destroying companies like BP, BA and Shell (5), and for cultural institutions across London and the UK to do the same.'

'The oil industry is destroying our future, as well as the lives and of countless living beings right now. For that reason, and because this victory has shown what climatically conscious grassroots art can achieve, we will be keeping up the pressure with our Art Not Oil campaign.’


Contact:, 07708 794665

Notes to editors:

1) Now in its fifth year, Art Not Oil stands for ‘creativity, climate justice and an end to oil industry sponsorship of arts and culture’. It has acted as a beacon for artists worldwide who are committed to using their creativity positively, and is a hub for protest against the oil industry greenwashing its image by appropriating UK cultural institutions. Its 2008 online gallery is now open for submissions:,uk

2) Over the past year sponsorship-related protests have taken place at the following places; (print quality copies of the photos below are available on request):
Natural History Museum, October 2007: and January 2008:…

BBC Wildlife Magazine HQ, Bristol, December 2007:

Bristol Museum, December 2007:…

Tate Britain, January 2008:

3) The ‘Shell’s Wild Lie’ exhibition will tour the UK and Europe through 2008 and beyond.

4) 'Shell: the evidence':

5) Both Shell and BP are Corporate Members of the NHM, donating £25,000 or more per year, while BA gives £10,000 per year. Current Prime Minister-appointed NHM Trustees include Louise Charlton of Brunswick Group, the public relations firm contracted in 2004 by Shell to carry out PR damage limitation in the wake of its reserves-reporting scandal, and Sir William Castell, non-executive director of BP. Conflicts of interest like these are rife right across the UK’s leading cultural institutions.

6) Friends of the Earth has also been running a campaign against the Shell deal:…

Bear at BBC Wildlife 07