2012 Culture Highlights: Unmissable Books And Arts Events

Damien Hirst

First Posted: 04/01/12 09:46 Updated: 04/01/12 11:53

Belts may be tightening, libraries may be closing, art funding may be shrinking - but let's look on the bright side this January, the UK is still a great place to find your cultural fix.

Between the Juggernaut that will be the Olympics, major retrospectives from some of the country's best-loved artists and 200th anniversary of Britain's most famous novellist, 2012 is set to have plenty to offer.

To help you start putting together your own must-see list for 2012, we've compiled our own. Here are just some of the exciting exhibitions and events planned in the worlds of art and books over the next 12 months in Britain. Feel free to add any we've missed to the comment section at the bottom.

London Festival
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The slightly confusingly titled London Festival is, in fact, a series of nationwide events marking the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad - the year-long cultural arm of the London Olympics. Even if 'The London Festival' is little more than a kitemark to be plastered on exhibitions and gigs that fancy a bit of extra publicity, the range of events is impressive with everything from the Lucien Freud retrospective at The National Portrait Gallery to The Radio 1 Hackney Weekend.

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Filed by Sam Parker  |