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Damien Hirst's latest offering: A diamond encrusted baby skull

Controversial artist Damien Hirst has caused a stir with his latest piece of work.

ARTIST DAMIEN HIRST, famous for his controversial sculptures, has offended parents groups with his latest work –  a baby’s skull cast in platinum and encrusted with thousands of pink and white diamonds.

The skull is believed to be that of a child who died before it was two weeks old, and was reportedly acquired by Hirst when he bought a 19th-century pathology collection. It has been set with 8,000 diamonds by the royal jewellers Bentley & Skinner, and is due to be exhibited later this month in Hong Kong at the Gagosian gallery’s exhibition space.

Sally Russell, the founder of the parenting group Netmums told the London Telegraph:

Mr Hirst may not have intended to be insensitive with his new work, but the fact is it will have a profound effect on many people who will find the subject deeply disturbing.

Hirst’s latest work may have caused upset, but it is not exactly original: In 2007 he produced a similar diamond-encrusted skull, which went on to become the world’s most expensive contemporary artwork. The piece, entitled For the Love of God, is worth about £50 million (€60 million). The gallery had declined to comment on the price of the latest piece.

Hirst is quoted by the Telegraph as saying: “When you look at a skull, you think it represents the end, but when you see the end so beautiful, it gives you hope. Diamonds are about perfection and clarity and wealth and sex and death and immortality. They are a symbol of everything that’s eternal, but then they have a dark side as well.”

What do you think: Is it an inspired comment on the human condition, an offensive treatment of a person’s remains – or is the artist simply addicted to drama?

Damien Hirst's latest offering: A diamond encrusted baby skull
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  • For the Love of God

  • For Heaven's Sake

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