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Lord Serota of Bankside

Nicholas Serota has put a meat cleaver through a major institution without anyone complaining. Charles Saumarez Smith says a Labour government should appoint him minister of culture

Did Nicholas Serota spring fully fledged as a museum director from the womb? He certainly became one very early, starting as director of the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford in 1973 in his late 20s before moving to the Whitechapel Art Gallery when he was only 30. At the Whitechapel he was responsible for shows devoted to artists of the international avant-garde, as well as an exhibition devoted to Sir Christopher Wren. So, it was perhaps inevitable that he should be appointed director of the Tate, where he has now been for ten years.

Most people, apart from Brian…

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