London. Charles Saatchi lost the legal case over his lease at County Hall, and his gallery was immediately evicted, closing on 28 October. The High Court upheld claims by landlord Cadogan Entertainment Investments and the building’s owner, Shirayama Shokusan. They argued that the Saatchi Gallery had forfeited its lease because it had breached a number of conditions (The Art Newspaper, No. 163, November 2005, p. 8).
The judge, Sir Donald Rattee, described Mr Saatchi’s decision not to give evidence as “unexplained” and he was very critical of the gallery’s submissions, describing them as “unsatisfactory”. A Saatchi spokesman commented after the judgment: “The forfeiture issue was based on the landlord’s claims that the two-for-one ticket offer breached the terms of the lease. The landlord took advantage of this technicality to bring our lease to an end.”
A month earlier, Mr Saatchi had announced plans to open a new gallery at the Duke of York’s Headquarters in King’s Road, Chelsea, London. But he had hoped to keep his collection on show at County Hall until the conversion of the 1801 building was completed. Following the eviction, the 4 November opening of the “Triumph of painting part three” exhibition was postponed, and it will now be shown in Chelsea. The new gallery is due to open in late 2006.