Politics

Exclusive: Tracey Emin artwork removed from 10 Downing Street after complaint about Partygate

Emin branded the government "shameful" in the midst of Partygate and asked for her artwork to be removed.

Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin with Boris Johnson in 2010. Image: Isabel Eyre/flickr

A piece of Tracey Emin’s artwork has been removed from 10 Downing Street following a request from the artist who branded the government “shameful” over Partygate.

Emin requested the removal of “More Passion” in January with an Instagram post saying “more passion is the last thing this present government needs”.

Now The Big Issue has learned the neon artwork has been moved to the ambassador’s residence in Paris, where it forms part of a display including works by women.

In January, Emin told her Instagram followers she was “in the process of requesting” the work be removed from Downing Street.

The day before Emin’s post, Boris Johnson was forced to apologise to the Queen after it emerged Downing Street staff had partied on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral.

Downing Street said it would hold talks with Emin – and it is understood the artwork was removed without the need for an official request.

The request came under fire from fellow artist Grayson Perry, who branded it ‘lame’.

Perry told the Daily Mail in January: “Considering she is one of the few artists that has come out as a voting Tory, it seemed a bit ironic.”

The UK ambassador’s residence in Paris is the 18th-century Hôtel de Charost, purchased by the Duke of Wellington in 1814 and sitting a stone’s throw from the Élysée Palace.

Its current occupant is Menna Rawlings, the first woman to serve as the UK’s ambassador to France.

Emin’s artwork now sits alongside works by Margaret Calvert, Lubaina Himid, and Rose Wylie.

A spokesperson for the Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport told The Big Issue: “The Government Art Collection can display artwork at any of its 365 locations and it regularly reviews where they are located.

“This work was gifted to the collection with an agreement to display the artwork initially in No 10 Downing Street. It is now in the Ambassador’s Residence in Paris as part of a new display which includes important works by women.”

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
All of Keir Starmer’s U-turns and abandoned policy pledges, from child benefits to private schools
Keir Starmer, U-turn, broken promises
Labour

All of Keir Starmer’s U-turns and abandoned policy pledges, from child benefits to private schools

Green Party leader Carla Denyer on climate crisis, fighting for trans rights and beating Labour
Politics

Green Party leader Carla Denyer on climate crisis, fighting for trans rights and beating Labour

Are we headed for a low-turnout general election? Why poverty and mistrust mean voters staying home
Rishi Sunak, general election, low turnout
Politics

Are we headed for a low-turnout general election? Why poverty and mistrust mean voters staying home

'Real change is essential': Our blueprint for change shows how Sunak and Starmer can end poverty for good
Conservatives' Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer of Labour went head to head in party conference speeches but which one tackled the housing crisis head on
Big Issue

'Real change is essential': Our blueprint for change shows how Sunak and Starmer can end poverty for good

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know