i've heard (as i'm sure you all have) that charles saatchi is planning to create an exhibition space at country hall to display his modern art collection (damian hurst's pickled shark and tracy emin's 'my bed', among other things). does anyone know how this is progressing? i'm sure i saw somewhere that it was supposed to be opening in march, but i've not heard anything recently. was it march 2004?
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's leading private collection of contemporary art will go on permanent show to the public within two months as multimillionaire philanthropist Charles Saatchi opens his new gallery.
"This is the most iconic collection of contemporary works of art in the world," Saatchi spokesman William Miller told Reuters Wednesday during a tour of the building.
The Saatchi collection, currently being assembled in County Hall -- the seat of London's government from 1912 to 1987 -- should open in mid-April and put the finishing stamp to what has been dubbed Culture Mile along the banks of the River Thames.
"There is a lack of knowledge and understanding about contemporary art. We will fill the gap," he added as workmen toiled to refurbish the monumental granite building that is now owned by a Japanese businessman.
The reclusive Saatchi, who made his fortune in advertising with his brother Maurice -- now a Conservative Party peer -- has over the past two decades amassed an eclectic collection that currently includes over 2,000 pieces.
He almost single-handedly made the reputations of BritArt's Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin whose pickled quadrupeds and soiled bed are the centerpieces of the multimillion pound collection.
Other works in the collection include works by artists Jenny Savile, Sarah Lucas and American Duane Hanson.