Martin Scorsese Gives Backing To National Media Museum In Bradford

Movie legend Martin Scorsese has joined the campaign to keep one of Britain's leading museums open.

The director famous for classic films including Goodfellas, Taxi Driver and the latest blockbuster, The Wolf of Wall Street, has written in support of the National Media Museum in Bradford, which is currently under threat because of cutbacks.

Martin Scorsese's association with the National Media Museum goes back more than 25 years

In the letter, Mr Scorsese wrote: "Without the Museum, a mass of people will never understand the influence, power, and inspiration that media has occupied in society and in lives."

The museum is threatened with closure because of the government's squeeze on budgets. It is one of a number of institutions that the Science Museum Group runs, others including the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and the National Railway Museum in York and the Science Museum in London.

According to the Group's director Ian Blatchford, cuts at the Science Museum could be accompanied by closure of one of the other museums.

Speaking to the BBC earlier this month, Mr Blatchford said: “There are two problems. The first is we are already in quite a weak position because in the existing spending round we ended up with 25% real terms cuts.

“But the real problem is there seems a very strong prospect of a further 10% of cuts which basically means that we will end up with a deficit, currently of £2 million, rising to about £6 million a year which for a museum is a huge amount of money.”

Mr Scorsese's relationship with the Bradford museum came after he gave one of three Guardian lectures there in 1987 which were then incorporated as part of his book, Scorsese On Scorsese. He is the latest high profile celebrity to speak up in support of the National Media Museum alongside the likes of actor John Hurt, the Bradford-born artist David Hockney and two Monty Pythons, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.

"Since my lecture, I have remained a dedicated supporter of the National Media Museum as it continues to inspire and preserve the future and past of filmmaking," the fim-maker added in his letter.

One of the city's MPs, George Galloway, believed the museum was safe after meeting with Culture minister Ed Vaizey, who last week ruled out the closure of the museum but The Museum Group is waiting until this week's Spending Review before making a decision.