Art disaster

"Turner Prize artist's work is dumped in skip" the headline roars. A storage firm face a £350,000 legal bill after they lost a valuable work of art. Before that was the Momart fire. So where is art stored? How? Is it safe? What about modern art like Tracy Emin’s neon signs? Or art that is assembled on location? Or the one that has the art world buzzing - digital works or works that require particu
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A bout of carelessness on the part of those in the art storage business has recently been lining the pockets of lawyers. The infamous Great Art Warehouse Fire of 2004 destroyed work by Tracy Emin, Jake and Dinos Chapman and Damien Hirst among others. In January 2007, the company responsible, Momart, paid tens of millions of pounds to artists in damages. At the time of the fire, the loss to artists and collectors was valued at up to £50 million.

Despite narrow-minded tabloid snickering about the value of works like Tracy Emin’s Everyone I Have Ever Slept With tent, it represented a real loss to the UK’s cultural heritage – not just wealthy art collectors, who are perhaps harder to sympathise with than the artists themselves.

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Hannah Forbes Black
About the Author
Hannah Forbes Black is a freelance writer based in London.