London galleries face closure

Two of London's art galleries are facing closure and a third is having to change its status to survive, writes Dalya Alberge.

The visual arts department of the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith is to be disbanded by next month, to save the centre pounds 100,000 from its wages bill.

The cash-starved Serpentine in Kensington Gardens learnt that the Department of National Heritage believes that its rent-free status should change. An annual levy of pounds 60,000, rising in five years to pounds 90,000, has been proposed. A spokeswoman said that it would close if forced to pay such a bill.

Meanwhile, the Dulwich Picture Gallery is to apply to the Charity Commissioners for a change in its charitable status.

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