Britain Unveils Historic and Hip Government Art in Exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery

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LONDON (REUTERS).- Lowry’s lonely people, Tracey Emin’s scrawlings and a mysterious portrait of Elizabeth I are just a few of the gems from the British government’s art collection unveiled to the public for the first time this week. The exhibition, at London’s Whitechapel Gallery and picked by top government officials old and new from offices scattered across the globe, brings together a mix from five centuries of art and diplomacy. L.S. Lowry’s masterpiece ‘Lancashire Fair: Good Friday, Daisy Nook’, chosen by the wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron, shows a drab and alienating crowd of northern English folk at an Easter fair a year after the end of World War Two. The painting, which usually hangs in Cameron’s Downing Street headquarters, fetched a record price of 3.8 million pounds ($6.2 million) at auction in 2007.