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  • Fans queue for secret art cards
    11.26.2005 BBCnews

    Damien Hirst's postcards were among those sought by enthusiasts

    Postcards by artists including Damien Hirst and photographer David Bailey have been sold at the Royal Academy of Art's annual Secrets sale. One fan camped for two weeks to lead the queue for the sale, which helps students with grants and bursaries.

    Illustrator Quentin Blake and Tracey Emin were among the artists to donate a record 2,700 cards, each sold for £35.

    The identity of the artist remains unknown until each card is bought and the signature is revealed on the back.

    Fans queued outside the college in Kensington, west London, from the early hours to be among the first to buy the cards.

    Camping discouraged

    Curator Sophie Brown said that as artists became aware of the exhibition, more "names" including Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry wanted to submit their work.

    She said that although organisers were delighted that people were enthusiastic enough to camp out, the practice would be banned next year.

    "The people who camp are our biggest fans, but we have to distance ourselves from it because not everyone is happy with it," she said.

    "The whole point of the show is that it's democratic and everyone is in the same boat."

    The exhibition, now in its 12th year, raises money for the Fine Arts Students' Award Fund.