Following the news yesterday that NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin personally intervenedto divert funds away from 11 projects recommended in Round 2 of the Create NSW Arts & Cultural Projects fund to finance a secret ‘special project’, the National Association for the Visual Arts has called for those funds to be returned to the artists.

The investigation by the ABC hinged on documents obtained through Freedom of Information laws and while the name of the ‘special project’ had been redacted, Harwin has since revealed after questioning in Parliament that funds were diverted to a one-off grant made to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for an acoustic enhancement at the International Convention Centre. The ICC in Darling Harbour will host the SSO’s piano festival, The Keys to the City Festival, in the 2019 seasonand will no doubt be an important venue for the orchestra in 2020 while the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall is closed for renovations.

“The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has received funding from Create NSW to assist with acoustic treatments required at the new venues we have to use while the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall is undergoing major refurbishment,” a spokesperson for the SSO confirmed. “The...

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