It has long been a boast of pundits and politicians but now it has been backed up by hard evidence – London has emerged as the world’s most culturally vibrant city. Financial Times

A report comparing London’s cultural attractions with those of New York, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo shows that the British capital is ahead of the rest in virtually all categories.

It has more national museums, more musical performances and venues, more public art galleries and more major theatres than all its competitors, the report by the London Development Agency has found.

Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, said it was London’s cultural pre-eminence that made it a great world city. “Nobody comes to London to visit its bankers. Cities are not remembered for their economies, but for what they achieve culturally,” he said at the report’s launch yesterday.

Livingstone also announced a new £1.4m fund for organisations to develop new cultural projects in the build-up to the 2012 Olympic Games.