Baltic curse strikes yet again as new boss gets cold feet

Plans to appoint a new director for the Baltic centre for contemporary arts in Gateshead have been thrown into confusion after the chosen candidate turned down the post, according to reports.

Interviews took place earlier this month and trustees are understood to have chosen an American curator, Peter Doroshenko, to take over the centre.

But he is said to have decided yesterday against moving from Belgium, where he stepped down as artistic director of the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK), for family reasons.

The gallery's staff and supporters had been eager to put the upsets of recent years behind them.

The first director, Sune Nordgren, left less than a year after the gallery opened in July 2002 to run Norway's National Museum for Art, Architecture and Design. He was criticised by some for concentrating on Scandinavian artists while more popular exhibitions, such as Antony Gormley's Domain Field, were expensive.

Stephen Snoddy, his successor, resigned in November last year, 11 months after his appointment. He had previously been suspended from his post at the Baltic while the Metropolitan Police investigated an allegation of assault made against him. The police eventually announced no action was being taken. Although he was expected to resume work, he decided not to return.

Mr Doroshenko's appointment was expected to have been confirmed at a board meeting within days. It is understood he and his wife were flown to the city for the weekend.

However, Andrew Lovett, Baltic's acting director, refused to confirm any details of the recruitment process. "Obviously with a post of this importance and seniority and the fact we're very keen to get someone of the absolute highest quality, the processes are going to be complicated and probably take a long time. We hope to make an announcement as soon as we possibly can."

Mr Doroshenko ran SMAK in Ghent from 2003 until earlier this year. He was formerly director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Institute of Visual Arts. He has been described as a brilliant curator rather than an administrator, but he would need to be both at Baltic.

The centre is one of the regeneration projects in Gateshead and was joined last year by the Sage music centre just several hundred metres along the river.

Despite some question marks over its finances, the Arts Council of England gave it a vote of confidence this year when it announced a big increase in its funding over the next three years. The Baltic's subsidy will rise from £815,225 this financial year to £1.8m by 2007/08.

Mr Doroshenko could not be contacted yesterday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test