WE have known that 2014 would be the centenary year of the start of the Great War for a very long time.

That funding and support to commemorate the occasion would be available has also been long apparent, so as I mentioned last week, it’s a shame that as one First World War show began at the museum another was ending at the Young Gallery.

With its strong and historic army links, Salisbury would seem an ideal place to stage a landmark commemorative event on different sites.

Those exhibitions weren’t in competition: one has a local history theme; the other was a contemporary art show.

In fact, there was a third Great War exhibition: ‘Postcards Home’ at the Rifles Museum featured artwork made by students at workshops using the museum’s archives.

The cathedral is also marking the centenary with a number of displays and events. Each and every one has been rich and emotive, but how much better if they had been marketed together.

The Salisbury BID has caused some disquiet among business people who are being asked to fund the project, but it does seem to be the platform best able to promote Salisbury as a brand.

Our commercial future can only be secured by tourism, by bringing more people and their money into the city.

As our main attraction is the cathedral, offering more art and more history seem natural complements.

While competition can be useful to the customer in keeping down the price of groceries, collaboration is better suited to art enterprises.

Galleries have settled in London’s Cork Street for a good reason, and even antique dealers like to congregate close together.

Artist Selina Snow recently contacted the Journal in response to the question of a new art gallery, and also asked: “How we can make Salisbury more of a draw to art lovers and promote contemporary art? Other small towns in Europe can do this. Why can't we?”

I know what she means.

For instance, in the small town of Ratzeburg in Germany, which has a third of the population of Salisbury, I saw an exhibition featuring Ernst Barlach, Kathe Kollwitz, and a wide range of contemporary artists whose work reflected a social realist theme.

The venues included the cathedral, a church, the town gallery and a few independent venues. This kind of venture is not unusual.

Things have begun to change.

Salisbury Cathedral has recently staged joint projects with the Young Gallery, Roche Court, and Sarum College, but if we are to put Salisbury on the map we need bigger, grander gestures.

Martin Urmson