Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The day I told the PM where to go

"This way Prime Minister. On the blue spot, please. Bunch up a bit. Thank you." And that was it, the result of two weeks' work. Motorcade arrives in front of the National Museum with VIPs waiting, get the introductions done, marshal everyone into line. Photo taken. Goodbyes. And off he went - to meet the President. 9 minutes. He overran by 4. Still, we have a photograph in which David Cameron 'announces' a festival of British arts in China to take place in 2012. I shall remember those 9 minutes as the festival takes shape, grows like a many-headed monster, has its ups and downs, and takes up most of my waking hours.

L-R: Joanna Burke (Director, British Council China), Vernon Ellis (Chairman, British Council), Neil MacGregor (Director, British Museum), Xiang Xiaowei (Assistant Director General, Central Bureau for External Affairs, Ministry of Culture), David Cameron (PM), Lu Zaosheng (Director National Museum), Sir Mark Jones (Director V&A) and Helen Wang (CEO, HSBC China).

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