Arts: Ayres quits Royal Academy

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The Independent Online
A second member of the Royal Academy, the eminent and celebrated abstract painter Gillian Ayres, has resigned in protest against the "Sensation" exhibition and the painting of moors murderer, Myra Hindley.Her resignation follows that of sculptor Michael Sandle, who resigned in protest at the way the institution was being run.

The Royal Academy yesterday confirmed that Ms Ayres, 67, had resigned, but said it still intended to put the damaged Hindley painting back up in the exhibition, despite the controversy it had caused and the two acts of vandalism against it on Thursday.

However, damage to the Hindley portrait is much more extensive than was first thought, Royal Academy officials said. A team of specialist conservators, fear that restoration of the portrait could be a problem.

Despite the damage, the portrait of Hindley is still clearly in full view to members of the public in a cordoned-off section of the gallery.