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Write a Letter

Protest banner: National Gallery loves arms dealers

Write to the Gallery's Director

The Gallery's executive team, led by Director Dr Nicholas Penny, can decide to reject controversial sponsorship. Hundreds of letters to the Director will give him a taste of just how controversial it is to support the arms trade. Write now!

Writing a letter in your own words will help make this action even more effective, although if you're short of time it takes just two minutes using our template.

Send your own letter by email or write to: Dr Nicholas Penny, Director, National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

Tips for your own letter

  • Please be polite: we'd like to show Dr Penny the strength of public opposition to this arrangement, but we hope to persuade him, not alienate him!
  • Are you an art-lover? Do you value the National Gallery's collection? If so, do mention this.

Key points

  • Arms company Finmeccanica is using the National Gallery's facilities to impress its customers and influence decision-makers.
  • An association with the arms trade is deeply unethical and damaging to the National Gallery's reputation.
  • Ask Nicholas Penny to ensure the Gallery does not host further events for arms companies.
  • Ask the National Gallery to end its sponsorship arrangements with arms company Finmeccanica.

Facts and figures

  • Finmeccanica arms repressive regimes and conflict zones. Its weapons sales include attack helicopters to Turkey for use against separatist Kurds, military helicopters to Algeria for "internal security", and a joint venture with Libya for surveillance and "homeland security."
  • In 2011, the DSEI arms fair came to London. At least 14 authoritarian regimes, including Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, were among those shopping for weapons. Arms dealers celebrated the first day of business at an evening reception at the National Gallery.
  • Farnborough Airshow is another weapons fair. Libya, China, Algeria and Saudi Arabia were invited to Farnborough 2010. Finmeccanica has used the Gallery's rooms for evening receptions for the last three Farnborough Airshows.
Page updated 20 March 2012
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