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Anthony Blunt

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Anthony Frederick Blunt was born in Bournemouth, England in 1907 and educated at Marlborough School and Cambridge University, where he became a fellow in 1932.

As a Cambridge lecturer, he recruited for the Soviet secret service and, as a member of the British Secret Service between 1940 and 1945, he passed information to the USSR.

In 1951 he assisted the defection to the USSR of the British agents Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean.

Unmasked in 1964, he was given immunity after his confession.

He was stripped of his knighthood in 1979 when the affair became public (he was publicly named by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher).

Blunt, meanwhile, had been the author of many respected works on Italian and French art, including a study of Poussin. He was director of the Courtauld Institute of Art (1947 – 74) and Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures (1945 – 1972).

He died from a heart attack at his home in London in 1983, aged 75.