Go to the pub? We'd rather see the opera
Vanessa Thorpe [The Guardian, 20 Feb 05]
Music, drama and the visual arts really are second nature to the English, a national survey has conclusively shown. While news from Italy this weekend that the United Kingdom is regarded as the most cultured nation in Europe has been met with scepticism, it seems we should have a higher opinion of our chief pastimes on this island. DIY shops, fast food outlets and soccer violence are not even half the picture, it is now clear.
In the biggest survey of its kind, conducted by the Office of National Statistics for the Arts Council of England, it has emerged that participation and appreciation of the arts are more popular than sport and are widely indulged in across the social spectrum.
'It is good news that levels of attendance and participation have remained high against a backdrop of increased competition from other leisure activities,' said Kim Evans, an executive director at ACE.
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