In illiberal democracies, political control is often the price of government support for culture. Adrian Ellis examines the uneasy relationship between museums and populist regimes.

Liberal democracies have developed various devices to help to ensure that public funding of the arts and culture does not bring with it political control of content—the “arm’s length” relationship between government and cultural organisations; the decentralisation of decisions about cultural priorities from government to individuals via tax-deductible donations; a legal framework that seeks to circumscribe the legislative limits placed on freedom of expression; and a free and vigilant press. These were all hard won—and won slowly and imperfectly—but the result has been that attempts at political control of museums are relatively rare and that where political interference is attempted, governments often come off the worse for it'... Keep reading on The Art Newspaper