I was asked to give a talk tonight about whether public or private funding is better for the arts: the American model or the French model ? I had expected to be relatively even-handed about the advantages and disadvantages of the two systems because when I drew up a list of the pros and cons of private funding, the list was six of one and half a dozen of the other. But as I talked I realised that I have become an advocate of the benefits of private funding: more freedom; less regulation; more responsive to the consumer. Look at the transformation of the V&A over the last two decades. But in discussion the pendulum swung back. The metropolis can tap private funds, but not the regions. And the theatre, for example, is highly dependent on public funding for training, a diversified programme and innovation.