Sir Antony Gormley has said he “remains a proud British citizen” but is keen to retain his links with Europe following reports that he has applied for a German passport due to Brexit.
The 71-year-old sculptor, who is famed for creating the Angel of the North, is reported to have described Britain’s departure from Europe as a “tragedy” at a recent exhibition of his work at the Museum Voorlinden in the Netherlands.
In a statement to clarify his German passport application, Gormley explained he is entitled to dual nationality as he has a German mother, adding that he is not giving up his British citizenship.
The statement said: “Antony Gormley holds dual nationality as a result of having a German mother.
“Without giving up his British nationality, he has decided to apply for a German passport which he will hold alongside his British one.
“He remains a proud British citizen and is grateful for the extraordinary support he has received from so many people and institutions across the UK but he is also keen to retain his links with and continue to show his work in Europe.”
The British sculptor was reported to have said at the exhibition in the Netherlands: “I’m embarrassed about Brexit, it’s a practical disaster, a betrayal of my parents’ and grandparents’ sacrifice to make a Europe that was not going to be divided again. It’s a tragedy.”
The Turner Prize winner has been openly critical in the past about the UK leaving the European Union.