Today’s Manchester Guardian gives an unchallenged outing to metropolitan whinger Germaine Greer on the subject of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near the heart of our 15-million-strong Supercity.

Complaining, apparently erroneously, about the amount of the nation’s collection of sculpture kept outside London, she sneers:

If you can manage to get yourself to West Bretton near Wakefield, you may see some of them dotted round the 500 acres of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park; others may be displayed in four indoor galleries. The park is seven miles from the nearest railway station and a taxi will cost you a tenner, which Londoners have to add on to the £112.50 – the least the day return will cost a single adult.

So Londoners, take note:

  • This is only the price that we have to pay to visit the vast majority of the national collections that are housed in, er, London. The train runs both ways, you know.
  • You don’t have to take a taxi. We have buses. And the driver may even respond to a cheery wave. Try that on the Tube and you’ll be arrested.
  • Thanks to the YSP, my seven-year-old can bore for Yorkshire on the life and works of Andy Goldsworthy.
  • It’s not just the sculptures. We’ve got your weapons too, and we’re not giving them back.


  1. I’ve just found out about Ms. Greer’s article and was furious!
    Does she really think that because some of the nation’s art is not house in London that the world has gone mad? Perhaps we should start asking for some of the Victoria and Albert museum to be spread around. Or maybe when the terracotta army visited the UK we should have put one soldier alongside every motorway in England so that everybody could see the famous sculptures?

    The point of the sculptures to be able to look at them and appreciate them. Her idea to place them at the side of motorways (“I would suggest placing some of them where they can be seen but not touched, along the motorway…”) means that instead of the art being appreciated properly, such works would receive only a fleeting glance from motorists who are too busy driving to give due respect to the art.

    How dare she suggest that if it’s not in London it’s a waste. Does she not realize that over 80% of England’s population resides outside of London? Does she not realize that the majority of the time us up North wish to visit notable pieces of art/theatre/opera/jazz etc we have to make to expensive trip to London, where accommodation/taxi rides/food etc is generally more expensive than in the rest of the UK? Maybe we should force her to live in the dreaded “up North” for a few months and then see her complain when we finally get art to be proud of!

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