Damien Hirst is facing mounting pressure from his Cotswolds neighbors to replenish his £3m country stack.
The Turner Prize-winning artist, who became famous in the early 1990s after displaying a pickled shark piece at the Saatchi Gallery, purchased 124 acres of Toddington Manor in 2005, but has not yet fully restored the property.
The artist, 56, has pledged to renovate it and transform it into a family home and space for his personal art collection.
However, after 17 years, Hearst, who is said to be worth around £282m, has made little progress and the property is still surrounded by scaffolding and plastic sheeting.
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Artist Damien Hearst, who is said to be worth around £282m, is under increasing pressure from neighbors to complete construction work on Toodington Manor in the Cotswolds
The mansion, which Hearst bought in 2005 for £3m, is located on 124 acres of land in Toddington, Gloucestershire – but locals aren’t happy with the lack of progress
MailOnline contacted Damien Hirst for comment.
His angry neighbors will hold a parish council meeting this week to try to see if they can force him to go through with the promised restoration work.
Toddington Parish Council President Nigel Parker told the Guardian: “We want to see what can be done, if anything at all.
It is one of the biggest eye problems in the region. People are tired of him.
“Damien Hirst has owned this property for 17 years now, but it’s still covered in scaffolding and tarpaulins, and as far as we can tell there’s no restoration in sight.”
Chancellor John Evites, chair of the planning committee at Tewkesbury Council, added: “I am working on restoration and conservation and I think it could cost £50m to restore and it is not finished yet … it looks like he has just given it up or is bored with it. “.
The 124-acre mansion was designed and built by Charles Hanbury Tracy for himself in 1840. By 1894, he was forced to sell it out of poverty.
It was bought in the early 1970s by retired businessman David Wickens who ran it as a £5,000-a-year school for international students.
After the school closed, the building had been empty for 20 years, and had fallen into disrepair.
In 2004, there were plans to convert the mansion into a hotel, but locals campaigned to prevent this, and the property was sold to Hearst and his then partner, California designer Maya Norman, a year later.
Hearst became famous in the early 1990s, after exhibiting a pickled shark at the Saatchi Gallery, which made him notorious in the art world, which later made him extremely wealthy.
One of Hearst’s most famous pieces – this diamond-encrusted skull – has sold for nearly £50 million
However, when the couple, who share three sons, separated in 2012, work on the property reportedly began to stall.
Since then, neighbors have spoken of the palace, which they describe as “ugly to the eye” and “a pest in the countryside”.
In addition, Toddington Manor has been deemed “in danger” by Historic England, which says it wants to “encourage the owner” to continue the restoration work.
Speaking about the building in 2018, a spokesperson for Hirst’s Science Ltd said: ‘Damien has always recognized that the restoration would be a ‘lifetime business’ and due to a number of other projects – including the opening of the Newport Street Gallery in London and the display of his treasures. In Venice – work was suspended at Toddington.