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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 14:24 GMT
Art collection bought for nation
Statue of Liberty 1983 by Andy Warhol (image from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts)
The works include Statue of Liberty 1983 by Andy Warhol
A major collection of modern art valued at 125m has been secured for the nation for just 26.5m.

The collection - which features works by Gilbert and George, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst - was put together by art dealer Anthony d'Offay.

He will receive the 26.5m he originally paid for the 725 works.

The collection, which will tour the UK, will be jointly owned and managed by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Tate on behalf of the nation.

The deal - which was funded by the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), The Art Fund and the Scottish and UK Governments - was announced in Edinburgh.

The collection, to be known as Artist Rooms, will be shown at Scottish venues from Glasgow to Orkney.

Anthony d'Offay
The National Galleries of Scotland is the kind of experience that defines your life
Anthony d'Offay
Former art dealer

It represents one of the most important holdings of post-war and contemporary international art in private hands.

The collection was assembled over almost three decades by Mr d'Offay, whose London galleries played a key role in the promotion and understanding of 20th Century art in the UK.

The Sheffiled-born art dealer, who announced his retirement in 2001, studied art at Edinburgh University.

He said: "The National Galleries of Scotland is the kind of experience that defines your life.

Damien Hirst, Controlled Substances Key Painting (Spot 4a)
Damien Hirst is one of the artists who has work in the collection

"This is about trying to make something happen in a place where it will really make a great difference to young people, their appreciation of themselves and their era.

"It will inform what they do with their lives and how they see the world."

Scotland's minister for culture, Linda Fabiani, said: "This is a hugely significant acquisition for the National Galleries and for Scotland.

"It adds real weight to the cultural renaissance we are experiencing here."

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota said: "This begins to satisfy what is an appetite for contemporary art across the whole country.

No Title (Table and Four Chairs) 2003 by Robert Therrien
No Title (Table and Four Chairs) 2003 by Robert Therrien

"Anthony is making an incredible donation of a major part of his own personal wealth to the nation. It is an extraordinary act of philanthropy.

"This is a man that's giving away most of his wealth."

John Leighton, director general of the National Galleries of Scotland, said: "It is tremendous that the Scottish Government has given its full backing to this major new initiative for the visual arts in Scotland.

"We now have the potential to bring great modern art to new audiences right across this country.

"This is fantastic news for Scottish art and for Scottish artists."

UK's art king retires
06 Sep 01 |  Arts

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