Tracey Emin steps in to save Spitalfields newsagent

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The British artist seems to have been successful in her petition to spare a local shopkeeper from eviction

The newsagent’s shop is a beloved mainstay of the local creative community and stocks a number of art publications

The British artist Tracey Emin is close to winning her fight to save an East London newsagent who is facing eviction from Old Spitalfields Market, after 22 years in business. The shop is a beloved mainstay of the local creative community and stocks a number of art publications.

The New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation bought the historic market with the Irish investor Tribeca Holdings for around £110m last May. The property developers reportedly told Ashok Patel he had to leave his shop in the grade II listed building by 24 April, and gave him one month’s notice.

Emin, who has a home and studio in Spitalfields (as well as properties in Miami, New York and France), met with Tribeca Holdings on 22 April after starting a petition to save Patel’s business, which has been signed by 1,000 people. During the meeting, Emin says Tribeca Holdings expressed its “commitment” to keeping the newsagents. The developer “has an alternative shop space for them on good terms. They seem genuinely committed to trying to make things better not worse,” Emin says.

According to the former YBA, the developers also bought the famous Ten Bells pub, which the victims of Jack the Ripper were known to frequent, opposite Spitalfields market. “They bought the Ten Bells to make sure it stays a pub. So, let’s see what happens,” Emin says. A spokesman for Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation and Tribeca Holdings declined to comment.

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