Damien Hirst is facing increasing pressure from his neighbors in the Cotswolds to renovate his £ 3million pile of earth.
The Turner award-winning artist, who became famous in the early 90s after his pickled shark work was exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery, bought the 124-acre Toddington Manor back in 2005, but has yet to completely restore the property.
The artist, now 56, promised to renovate it and turn it into a family home and space for his personal art collection.
17 years later, however, Hirst, who is said to be worth around £ 282 million, has made little progress and the property is still surrounded by scaffolding and plastic sheets.
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Artist Damen Hirst, who is said to be worth around £ 282 million, is under increasing pressure from neighbors to complete construction work on Toodington Manor in the Cotswolds.
The mansion, which Hirst bought in 2005 for £ 3 million, is set on 124 acres of land in Toddington, Gloucestershire – but locals are not happy about the lack of progress.
The artist, now 56, promised to renovate it and turn it into a family home and space for his personal art collection (pictured before)
MailOnline has contacted Damien Hirst for a comment.
His furious neighbors are holding a parish council meeting this week to see if they can force him to move forward 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’s one of the biggest eye injuries in the area. People are tired of it.
‘Damien Hirst has owned this property for 17 years now, but it is still clad with scaffolding and tarpaulin, and as far as we can see there is no restoration in sight.’
Councilor John Evetts, chairman of the Tewkesbury Council’s planning committee, added: ‘I’m working on restoration and conservation and I think it could cost £ 50 million to restore and still not be finished … It looks like he’s just have left it or are bored with it. ‘
The 124-acre mansion was designed and built by Charles Hanbury-Tracy for himself in 1840
The 124-acre mansion was designed and built by Charles Hanbury-Tracy for himself in 1840. In 1894, he was forced to sell it through poverty.
It was purchased in the early seventies by retired businessman David Wickens, who ran it as a £ 5,000 a year school for foreign students.
After the school closed, the building stood empty for 20 years and fell into disrepair.
In 2004, there were plans to turn the mansion into a hotel, but local residents campaigned to prevent this, and the property was sold to Hirst and his then-partner, California designer Maia Norman, a year later.
Hirst became famous in the early 90’s after his pickled shark was exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery, which brought him fame in the art world, which subsequently made him very wealthy
One of Hirst’s most famous pieces – this diamond-clad skull – was reportedly sold for around £ 50 million
But when the couple, who share three sons, separated in 2012, work on the property reportedly began to stall.
Since then, neighbors have commented on the mansion, which they have stamped as a ‘moment’ and a ‘flare in the country’.
In addition, Toddington Manor has been deemed “exposed” by Historic England, which says it wants to “encourage the owner” to continue the restoration work.
A spokesman for Hirst’s company, Science Ltd, spoke about the building in 2018: ‘Damien has always acknowledged that the restoration would be a’ lifetime work ‘and due to a number of other projects – including the opening of the Newport Street Gallery in London and his Treasure show in Venice – work on Toddington has been suspended. ‘