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Damien Hirst Debuts Diamond-Studded Baby Skull

Jan 11, 2011 – 7:01 AM
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Mara Gay

Mara Gay Contributor

Damien Hirst isn't known for producing subtle works, but his latest creation has some critics scratching their heads.

The controversial British artist has used a dead baby's skull in his newest piece of art, bejeweling the infant's remains with more than 8,000 diamonds. The piece, titled "For Heaven's Sake," will debut at the Gagosian gallery in Hong Kong later this month in the show "Forgotten Promises."

The newborn is thought to have died in the 19th century. The baby skull was cast in platinum, and is a follow-up to "For the Love of God," a 2007 work featuring the diamond-studded skull of an adult. The asking price for the 2007 piece was more than $50 million, but the sale was private, and it's unclear how much the work actually netted.

Jude Tyrrell, the head of Science Ltd., which produces Hirst's designs, said the skull is odd but beautiful.

"Of course it's a delicate subject, but this is from an old collection, which we think is Victorian, and they were obsessed with collecting all sorts of bizarre things," she told The Telegraph of London. "I'm a mother, and I do find it slightly odd and strange to look at, but at the same time quite beautiful."

The gallery has not yet released the asking price for "For Heaven's Sake."

Hirst often explores the theme of death in his art and has shocked audiences before with pieces like a 22-ton shark he preserved in formaldehyde and reportedly sold to a hedge fund trader in 2004 for a cool $8 million.

Read more at The Telegraph
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