Tracey Emin demands Downing Street takes down neon artwork over 'shameful' parties

Tracey Emin, who has said the Government needs more "compassion" rather than the "party atmosphere"
Tracey Emin posted a picture of the neon artwork on Instagram saying: "More Passion is the last thing this present government needs."

Tracey Emin has asked Downing Street to take down a piece of neon artwork she donated after what the London artist described as "shameful" reports of lockdown parties.

The 'More Passion' artwork was given to the Government Art Collection in 2011 and has been displayed since David Cameron was prime minister.

She objected to the neon light being hung in a building where such apparent party behaviour had taken place.

"I don’t want the work back because I donated it," Emin told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

"I would simply like at the moment for it to be taken down, because the neon is notoriously for a party atmosphere.

"You have them at funfairs, casinos, bars or whatever, I really do not feel that Number 10 needs any encouragement on this level."

Tracey Emin said she knew Boris Johnson enjoyed the artwork at Number 10 because he had personally told her.

But she added that David Cameron’s government had a "very different attitude towards art and contemporary art".

"The Government actually doesn’t think that art should be in schools, does not think that art should be on the school curriculum, does not value art, does not value culture.

"By me saying this I am just proving how important art and culture is – so I have got my own agenda here as well.

"I want it taken down and this Government, I will tell you what they need, they need compassion. That’s what they need, not passion. They don’t need more party atmosphere," Emin added.

Downing Street said it would speak Tracey Emin with the Prime Minister’s official spokesman adding: "My understanding is that the work was gifted to the Government Art Collection with an agreement to initially display it in No 10.

"We will obviously now discuss the location of the work with the artist and I believe it will remain part of the Government Art Collection that displays works in a number of locations."