Mayor Boris Johnson - fast becoming an unlikely regular on the fashion circuit - was on hand to reveal the collaboration between Louis Vuitton and the Hayward Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, South London Gallery, Tate Britain and Whitechapel Gallery.
The programme is a three year arts and education course aimed at 200 under-privileged Londoners aged between 13 and 25. It aims to provide the participants with the skills and experience necessary to pursue a career in the arts - as curators and press officers, as well as artists. A number of high-profile artists and collectors, including Tracey Emin, Michael Landy and Gary Hume, have also signed up to the project.
Thanking Louis Vuitton for its financial investment - rumoured to be upwards of £1m - Johnson stressed the importance of encouraging young art talents of the future. "JMW Turner was born in penury above a barber's shop, and if he hadn't come to the Royal Academy as a 14-year-old then the world would have been deprived of one of Britain's greatest painters."
Louis Vuitton's Chairman and CEO, Yves Carcelle said, "As the leader of the luxury industry we believe that we naturally have a responsibility to the world around us".
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