Last month the Arts Council announced a Lottery award of £6.2 million ($10.7 million) to buy contemporary art for the new Tate at Bankside due to open in next year. The art will be shown alongside classsic modern works from the Tate’s permanent collection in an additional suite of galleries in the converted power station. The Arts Council’s official statement said that in giving the grant, it recognised “the vitality of contemporary art in Britain today and the importance of having a national showcase for the achievement of living artist from Britain and abroad in the context of a new national museum of modern art”. Lottery moneys are awarded by agencies funded, but not directly controlled by, government. This generous grant for museum purchases, unequalled in the case of the historic collections, is concordant with the government’s declared aim of changing the image of Britain from “heritage island” to a modern, creative country.