Artist Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' to return to Britain

Artist Tracey Emin poses with her conceptual artwork "My Bed" at Christie's auction house in London on June 27, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Artist Tracey Emin poses with her conceptual artwork "My Bed" at Christie's auction house in London on June 27, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - British artist Tracey Emin's controversial My Bed is to be exhibited in Britain as part of a long-term loan to the Tate group of museums, its new owner said on Tuesday.

German art collector and industrialist Christian Duerckheim, who bought the controversial work for US$3.8 million (S$4.7 million) at auction earlier this month, will lend the unmade bed to the Tate group for a period of at least 10 years.

"I always admired the honesty of Tracey, but I bought 'My Bed' because it is a metaphor for life, where troubles begin and logics die," Duerckheim said.

Among the most well-known works of the Young British Artists generation, the rumpled bed surrounded by intimate debris of cigarettes, condoms and empty bottles caused controversy when it was shortlisted for the 1999 Turner Prize.

The artwork is considered to be an unusual self-portrait of Emin, now 51, in a chaotic period of her life when she has said she was suffering from a broken heart.

"We look forward to displaying the work and are most grateful to Count Duerckheim for his generosity in creating an opportunity for visitors to see a work that now has iconic status," said Tate director Nicholas Serota.

At the time of its auction, Emin had said that she felt sad about the artwork leaving her control and said she hoped a benefactor would buy it and donate it to a museum.

Duerckheim, an investor in biotechnology, has in the past donated art to the British Museum.

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