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Thursday, 4 July, 2002, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Blood sculpture 'melted'
Self, by Marc Quinn
Self was bought for a rumoured 13,000
One of the Brit Art movement's most remarkable works, a sculpture made entirely of human blood, may accidentally have been destroyed.

According to a report in The Guardian, there has been speculation in the art world that Self, by Marc Quinn, had melted after the refrigerator it was stored in was disconnected by builders.

The work, which is a life size cast of the artist's head, is made out of in nine pints of his own frozen, congealed blood.

It has to be kept refrigerated or it will melt.

The work is owned by Charles Saatchi, the key patron of Brit Art, and the owner of the Saatchi Gallery along with one of the biggest private collections of contemporary British art.

Oozing

It has been reported that builders who arrived to extend Mr Saatchi's London kitchen at the request of his partner, TV chef Nigella Lawson, unplugged the kitchen freezer where the head was kept.

They discovered the mistake when red liquid was found oozing across the floor.

Charles Saatchi
Saatchi plans to open a new art gallery on London's South Bank
Mr Saatchi bought the piece for a rumoured 13,000 in 1991 from art the dealer Jay Jopling, who has said the sculpture "requires quite a bit of commitment on the part of the collector".

But some in the art world are said to be sceptical that an important patron of the arts would store a work of such value in a kitchen freezer.

On Thursday the Saatchi Gallery refused to comment on the story.

Mr Quinn, who used to share a flat with Damien Hirst, sprung to fame in the early 1990s with his provocative conceptual works.

See also:

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