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British Council arts boss baffled by cuts claims

The British Council’s director of arts has said she is ‘mystified’ by a letter published in the Guardian attacking plans to disband the organisation's design and architecture departments.

Venu Dhupa was responding to the letter, published in last Saturday’s paper, which was signed by the likes of Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield and Richard Rogers. (Architects vent their dismay at planned British Council cuts – AJ 18.01.08.)

But speaking to the AJ today, Dhupa said: ‘People are jumping the gun. We have not released any plans yet and people are commenting on things they have not yet seen.

‘I was mystified by the letter. I am guessing it was written in response to internal discussions that may have unsettled people’.

Dhupa, went on to reassure members of the arts department, which includes the design and architecture departments, that people with ‘expertise’ would not lose their jobs.

‘There will be no cuts. We value expertise highly and there will be more, not less, investment,' she said.

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