Mr Saatchi's surprising offer
Charles Saatchi has announced today that he is giving artworks worth more than £25m to the nation, plus his gallery. He has also said that he intends to change the name of the gallery to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) when he retires.
The gallery's statement says that the "Saatchi Gallery is currently in discussion with potential government departments who would own the works on behalf of the nation." What is a "potential government department"? I spoke to the Department for Culture Media and Sport, and it was the first that department had heard of the offer.
In fact, everybody I spoke to was non-plussed by the announcement - including those at Tate, who might consider that they already run the nation's contemporary art museum.
The offer raises several questions, such as: Saatchi might be giving the nation his collection and gallery, but is the nation - the government - accepting it?
I'm off to find out.
Update 1736: A response from Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport:
"Charles Saatchi has built up a collection of huge international importance. His decision to gift these works to the nation is an act of incredible generosity and I'd like to thank him on behalf of the Government. Philanthropy is central to our vision of a thriving cultural sector and this is an outstanding example of how Britain can benefit from individual acts of social responsibility."