Royal Academy denies Hirst claims

The Royal Academy last night denied having offered membership to the artist Damien Hirst, (left) who had claimed that he had turned it down, denouncing the august body as a "big, fat, stuffy institution".

A spokesman for the RA, whose latest show, Sensation, opens next week and will include some works by Hirst, 33 said: "He has not been offered a Royal Academicianship either informally or formally by anyone at the Royal Academy."