Emin: 'I'm more upset about kids being killed in Iraq'

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The art world was describing it as a tragedy, the insurers were facing a bill for £10m and Charles Saatchi was left pondering an irreplaceable hole in his extensive private collection.

The art world was describing it as a tragedy, the insurers were facing a bill for £10m and Charles Saatchi was left pondering an irreplaceable hole in his extensive private collection.

A fire which swept through an east London warehouse was confirmed yesterday to have destroyed some of the most high-profile modern art works of recent years. Among them were two pieces by Tracey Emin, and work by the Chapman brothers, Sarah Lucas and Gary Hume. Damien Hirst confirmed that he had lost 16 paintings. In addition there was his 22ft bronze statue Charity , based on the old Spastic Society collection boxes, which was recently auctioned for charity.

More than 100 of the items stored at the Momart warehouse came from Charles Saatchi's private collection. A spokeswoman for his gallery said: "Many of the works that have been lost are great personal favourites of Charles Saatchi's, and works that he considers to be irreplaceable in the history of British art."

It was a view echoed throughout the art world. But Emin, two of whose works were lost in the blaze - her "tent and her hut" was seeing the larger picture. "I'm upset ... I'm also very upset about those people whose wedding got bombed last week [in Iraq], and people being dug out from under 400ft of mud in the Dominican Republic ... the news is bad at the moment," she told The Independent .

At least 363 people were dead and hundreds missing in the Dominican Republic yesterday as a result of serious flooding. The fallout over the deaths of about 40 Iraqis at a wedding celebration in theQaim region, near the Syrian border, continues to reverberate.

Last night in east London firefighters were continuing to damp down the warehouse destroyed by the fire. The cause of the blaze was not yet known. Fire investigators were expected to begin their search at first light.

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