Hollywood veteran Robert Redford has called for the American government to increase funding for the arts.

The Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid actor - who runs the respected SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL - is sick of the perception that such money is wasted.

He told a Washington DC audience, "Government support for the arts is not the frivolous giveaway that some would have you believe."

The ageing heart-throb also called for an end to censorship.

He added, "We hear the word 'freedom' bandied about a lot these days. It's a sacred concept. To be able to freely voice dissent in our hearts or in our art is something to protect at all costs."

10/09/2003 17:21