Deborah Hobson and Marc Wadsworth - EXCLUSIVE
Charity bosses plan to hold an emergency meeting in an attempt to end a crisis at a London art gallery which has led to the firing of its curator and the abrupt closure of a special exhibition. The trustees of the 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning centre at Brixton want to end the open warfare which has been waged by staff members amid serious allegations of mismanagement and corruption.
Curator Predrag Pajdic went to the gallery yesterday to pick up his belongings and meet with management - accompanied by representatives of The-Latest who filmed the showdown. It was an extraordinary confrontation. He was was barred from the place two days after the opening of his Crime and Punishment show on September 4.
We will show the shocking video later. Earlier gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, MP Joan Ruddock and senior anti-hate crime police stepped into the row, as reported previously.
The-Latest has sent the embattled director of the publicly funded 198 gallery Lucy Davies, who got Pajdic suspended after he accused her of sleaze, 17 probing questions we have a right to be answered. Here we print them in full.
1. Why was Predrag Pajdic suspended from his job as curator at the gallery?
2. What complaints, if any, have other staff members made about him and what are the names of the staff members concerned?
3. What do you think of the charge that the employment of your husband Audley Campbell is nepotism and presents a conflict of interest?
4. How is Audley Campbell qualified for his job as manager of special projects and what are the special projects he is working on?
5. Does Audley Campbell have a company credit card for the gallery and what does he use it for?
6. Has there ever been any allegations of sexual harassment at the gallery levelled at Audley Campbell?
7. What did you do about the allegations brought to you by Predrag Pajdic about the alleged aggressive harassment of him by Audley Campbell?
8. Is it the case that you first told Predrag Pajdic that about £3,500 had been allocated as a budget to pay for the expenses of exhibitors in the Crime and Punishment exhibition yet the day before it opened you said that there were no funds available?
9. Give a breakdown of how you spent a total of £63,229 on management and administration in the last financial year on behalf of the gallery.
10. Give a breakdown, with the names of the consultants and the terms of their engagement, on how £41,515 was spent by you on consultancy in 'the furtherance of charitable objectives' in the last financial year .
11. Why did you place defamatory notices about Predrag Pajdic on the door of the gallery and the gallery website?
12. Was the entrance code to the gallery changed to deny Predrag Pajdic entry to the gallery despite the fact he is employed by you?
13. Do you regret what you wrote in emails to cyberstalker Peter Dean Rickards, the content of which included inappropriate language and poured scorn on the decision of the board of trustees to withdraw the work of Rickards from the Crime and Punishment exhibition http://www.the-latest.com/cyber-stalkers-four-year-long-campaign-of-hate#comment-677?
14. Are you now prepared to apologise to the family of Graham Brown-Martin and his wife Irene over this matter?
15. What do you plan to do to resolve the current crisis and re-open the exhibition and regain the confidence of the artists involved and funders?
16. Is it true that an unauthorised signature was used on documents to secure a grant from the MediaBox organisation?
17. Just to avoid any future doubt, can you confirm that there has been no other association between yourself and the Arts Council England's Julie Lomax beyond her role as a funder of the gallery?
We would appreciate your urgent response to these questions. I'm sure you will agree that this is a matter of considerable public interest as the gallery is funded by taxpayers' money.