Major London gallery closed after person dies in tragic event

A major London gallery has been forced to shut its doors after a person died in a "tragic event" on its grounds.

The incident took place at the Courtauld Gallery earlier this week, and the art centre will remain closed until Friday (October 6) in the aftermath. The gallery announced the event wasn't being treated as suspicious by police but offered its condolences to the deceased's loved ones.

Taking to its website and social media pages yesterday (Tuesday, October 3), the gallery said: "Yesterday afternoon, a tragic event occurred at The Courtauld Gallery premises that led to a fatality. The police are not treating the event as suspicious. Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased."

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A spokesperson said the gallery was unable to provide more information surrounding the incident at this time. However the cultural hub, which can be found just a stone's throw from the River Thames inside the Strand's iconic Somerset House, confirmed those who had booked to visit could request a refund or rebook their tickets for a different day.

The tragedy comes just days after the institute launched a brand new exhibition showcasing the work of Claudette Johnson, hailed as one of the founders of the Black British Arts Movement and a member of the BLK Art Group.

Johnson, 64, was dubbed "one of the most accomplished figurative artists working in Britain today" by Modern Art Oxford and has previously had her work exhibited across the world, including at the Tate Britain in London and The Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York.

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The Courtauld is one of the capital's best-known galleries and boasts important works of art by the likes of Van Gogh and Manet. Last year more than 300,000 people visited the gallery.

It recently closed for three years as part of a modernisation project but opened its doors to the public again in 2021.

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