Art world rallies behind Paula Rego in her battle with council planners

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The Independent Culture

Art luminaries are offering support to Paula Rego, the Portuguese painter whose backstreet studio in north London is under threat.

Sir Nicholas Serota, the director of Tate Galleries, and the sculptor Anthony Caro want council planners to halt a development that will cut natural light.

The Turner-nominated artist, 73, whose work has been collected by Charles Saatchi and Madonna, has maintained the studio in Camden since 1993. A planning application has been submitted for flats on the roof of a garage next door

"I have seen the plans and they will affect my light, casting a shadow across my work area," said Rego.

She has in the past spoken of the extraordinary light of her studio.

Sir Nicholas urged planners to reject the application. "The character of Camden Town depends on the presence of small creative businesses and of a very mixed community including artists," he said.

Nino De Angelis, the garage owner who submitted the application, said any work was not imminent. "I may like to sell the property when I retire and I have been advised that I would get more if I had planning permission," he said.

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