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Britain acquires major modern art collection

A British art dealer said Wednesday that he has agreed to sell a major collection of modern art to national museums at a discount price.London art dealer Anthony d’Offay, 68, has agreed to sell 725 works by artists including Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons at the price for which he bought them — $53 million. That’s just over a fifth of their current estimated value of $250 million.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A British art dealer said Wednesday that he has agreed to sell a major collection of modern art to national museums at a discount price.

London art dealer Anthony d’Offay, 68, has agreed to sell 725 works by artists including Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons at the price for which he bought them — $53 million. That’s just over a fifth of their current estimated value of $250 million. The money has come from the British and Scottish governments and from art funds.

The collection, which also includes work by Joseph Beuys, Ron Mueck, Robert Mapplethorpe, Diane Arbus and the duo Gilbert and George, will tour museums and galleries across Britain under the title “Artist Rooms.” It will be owned and managed by the Tate Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland, and grouped into a series of rooms representing individual artists.

“We hope that people will be generous to ‘Artist Rooms’ and see it as something moving forward and expanding across the United Kingdom,” d’Offay said.

D’Offay’s collection was considered one of the most important groupings of postwar and contemporary art in private hands.

Tate director Nicholas Serota said the gift was “an extraordinary act of philanthropy. This is a man that’s giving away most of his wealth.”