Damien Hirst turns down offer to join to the Royal Academy

Brit art star Damien Hirst has said no thanks to an invitation to become a Royal Academician at the Royal Academy of Arts, a private institution that was founded in 1768 by King George III. The Academy’s leader, Dr. Charles Saumarez Smith CBE, made the refusal public, telling a London newspaper that he does not know the reasons why Hirst did not accept. Hirst joins other “refuseniks,” such as Lucian Freud, Howard Hodgkin, and Paula Rego. However, another art star of his generation, Tracey Emin, accepted membership in 2007, stating, "it doesn't mean that I have become more conformist; it means that the Royal Academy has become more open, which is healthy and brilliant."