The Sydney Symphony Orchestra returned a $1 million grant for the acoustic treatment of the International Convention Centre in October, the Sydney Morning Herald reported last night. The Orchestra had planned to use the ICC while the Sydney Opera House’s Concert Hall is closed for refurbishment, but the grant embroiled the organisation in controversy when it emerged that Arts Minister Don Harwin had personally intervenedto divert more than $400,000 of funds away from Round 2 of the Create NSW Arts & Cultural Projects funding round, against the recommendations of the independent panel, to fund the grant. The move created consternation in the arts industry, with the Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts Esther Anatolitis demanding the funds be returnedto the artists who missed out on funding. “Taxpayers will rightly be wondering why public funds earned by artists have not ended up where the transparent process of peer review intended,” she said at the time.

Sydney Symphony Orchestra David Robertson conducting the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Photo © Keith Saunders

The Sydney Morning Heraldrevealed that the Sydney Symphony Orchestra returned the grant money to the government...

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