At a time when the recession is biting and spending on vital front line services is being cut, how can this be justified?
The Arts Council is to give half a million pounds to a Devon artist to chop off part of an arctic island and tow it round the South West coast on a barge as part of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012.
The Cultural Olympiad is a great way to boost tourism and interest in the arts for those parts of the country which are not otherwise directly benefitting from the Olympics. But this seems like an incredible waste of money that won't bring any of the benefits we need.
At the same time, Cornwall is bidding to host the massive - Europe wide - Manifesta event to bring millions of pounds and hundreds of thousands of tourists to the county. I can imagine the Arts Council refusing to back Cornwall's bid because of lack of cash - cash that has been spent on this silly project.