Following several years of controversy over sexual harassment allegations involving the former London gallerist Anthony D’Offay, a spokesperson has confirmed that National Galleries of Scotland is returning works loaned to it by D’Offay.
The works are part of the larger Artists Rooms Collection initiative: in 2008 D’Offay sold a large part of his private collection (amounting to some 725 works) for the artworks’s original prices to the Tate and NGS, for £26.5 million. Other works were offered to the two institutions on loan.
However in 2018 D’Offay faced allegations by several women of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour going back to the 1990s – D’Offay has denied the allegations. The public controversy led to the Tate and NGS temporarily cutting ties with D’Offay, who had earlier ceased his involvement in the Artists Rooms Foundation.
Last month, the Tate and D’Offay issued a brief joint statement confirming that the two parties had ‘agreed to end their relationship’, a decision with involved ‘the return of works on loan to Tate’, and ‘the removal of public signage at Tate’. Removing D’Offay’s name from Artists Rooms signage at Tate has been a regular demand of those angered by his continued association with the Tate and NGS.
National Galleries Scotland confirmed that it had ‘reached a similar agreement with Mr D’Offay and works of art currently on loan to NGS from Mr D’Offay will be returned.’