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An exhibition by artistic duo Gilbert and George of pictures made up of thousands of stolen newspaper billboard posters opens in London today.

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George Passmore and Gilbert Proesch spent years collecting the posters around east London before making them into 292 pictures.

Mr Passmore said: “It was very naughty because we realised very early on in the project that we couldn’t get them legally.

“Nobody would let us have them, the publishers wouldn’t keep their old copies, the shopkeepers wouldn’t let us have them, they were very aggressive and very suspicious so we decided we would have to steal them all and one by one we stole 3,712.

“It was quite complicated to do.”

The pair, who have worked together since meeting at art school in 1967, are known for their immaculate tweed suits and often shockingly subversive and frank artwork involving sexual themes, religious symbolism and bodily fluids.

The exhibition, called London Pictures, features 72 works and will be on show in the three White Cube galleries in the capital.

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