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  1. ITV Report

Photography collection move from Bradford to V&A reviled as 'cultural vandalism'

The move will see 400,000 photographs moved from Bradford to London

The decision to move a photography collection in Bradford to the V&A Museum in London has been reviled as “an appalling act of cultural vandalism”.

The move will see 400,000 photographs moved from Bradford to London to create the “foremost collection on the art of photograph”.

ITV News Correspondent Damon Green reports:

The decision has angered local politicians and supporters of the regional museum, who argue the drive to improve arts facilities outside London has been forgotten.

Simon Cooke, Conservative leader of the opposition at Bradford Council, called for the deal to be reviewed and accused the V&A of “robbing” the city of its art.

The collection dates from 1827 to 2016

In an open letter, he said: “This is an appalling act of cultural vandalism."

The collection dates from 1827 to 2016 and has been based in Bradford's National Media Museum since 2003.

A father and son looking round the museum in Bradford Credit: ITV News

I know London is a big, grand and fantastic city but to denude my city of these photographs reminds us that you – all the V&A’s trustees are based in London, many will never have visited Bradford – care not one jot for our heritage and history.

I know you are incredibly excited by all this but, trust me, you could – had you had the guts and vision – have based this new resource centre in the north, in Bradford, where they would have been loved and cherished in a way you in London can never understand.

I don’t expect anything to happen. You’ll make some sort of gesture, will utter a few banal platitudes and punch the air because all the collection is where you and your pals can pop round, can show off to visiting dignitaries. A plague on you and your metropolitan cultural fascism.

– Simon Cooke

Among the photographs moving to the V&A include works by photography pioneers William Henry Fox Talbot, who invented the negative/positive process for producing photographs.

We will continue to hold collections of national significance... We're absolutely a national musuem.

– Jo Quinton-Tulloch, Museum Director