On Good Friday, the Times reported, with much self-righteousness, the news that a sculpture by a convicted criminal has been removed from the Royal Festival Hall. Bringing Music to Life is a model of an orchestra made from folded sheet music. The Southbank Centre bought it for £600 after it was displayed in an exhibition of prisoners’ art organised by the Koestler Trust. The artist was unnamed, but the Times took it upon itself to identify him, and couldn’t have been more pleased to announce that Bringing Music to Life was the work of Colin Pitchfork, who was jailed for life in 1988 for raping and murdering two teenage girls.
In a nicely judged letter to the newspaper yesterday, the chief executive of the Koestler Trust wrote: ‘Now that you have associated the piece with a specific offender, we understand and support Southbank Centre’s decision to remove it from display.’
With this success under their belts, who knows where Murdoch’s crusaders will turn next. Perhaps the National Gallery ought to be digging a canvas or two out of the basement to hang in place of Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus.