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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.”

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