Published  08/07/2003

Venice nul points

One of the stranger but understandable results of the Iraq War has been the failure of Chris Ofili – the favourite in the stakes – to win the Golden Lion at Venice. No, it was not the absence of a British party, nor the absence of major star rating, that lost Ofili, the coveted prize. Andrea Rose, the British Council's director of visual arts, indicated that the kickback of the war had rendered an Ofili win 'impossible'. This prejudice Ofili can share with the British entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, also 'nul points'. However, the winner was Luxembourg, another Euro-rub. In the under 35s award, Oliver Payne and Nick Relph, emergent British film makers, restored British hubris.

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