The £50m diamond skull from Damien Hirst

Hirst Skull

Artist Damien Hirst has unveiled a diamond-encrusted human skull worth £50 million in his new exhibition, Damien Hirst: Beyond Belief.

The 18th-Century skull is entirely covered in 8,601 jewels, with the teeth made separately to the cost of £14m. Hirst’s new artwork is said to be the most expensive piece of contemporary art.

The centrepiece of the 41-year-old’s creation is a pear-shaped pink diamond, set in the skull’s forehead. The skull, which was bought from a shop in Islington (North London), is thought to belong to a 35-year-old European who lived between 1720 and 1810.

The modern artist said his piece, entitled ‘For the Love of God’, is “uplifting, takes your breath away”.

“It works much better than I imagined. I was slightly worried that we’d end up with an Ali G ring,” he added.

“You just want it to be flawless, like a diamond is a flawless. We wanted to put them everywhere,” Hirst said of the skull.

“They go underneath, inside the nose. Anywhere you can put diamonds, we’ve put diamonds. I wouldn’t mind if it happened to my skull after my death,” he added.

The artist commented that an Aztec turquoise skull at the British Museum inspired him. And he hopes that this work will be eventually be displayed at the institution.

Other works of art created by Hirst are on display at the White Cube gallery in London include a painting of his son’s birth by Caesarean section and a tiger shark cut in half and suspended in two tanks of formaldehyde.

Art critic Charles Dupplin called the skull “another bold move” from Hirst. “This is a spectacular piece and undoubtedly the work with the highest intrinsic value in modern and contemporary art,” he added.

As for my view, I believe it’s a bit overwhelming and excessive. I am not a fan of modern art or Damien Hirst, so my opinion can vary to other people’s taste in art. But for those who want to experience his latest collection, click here to book your tickets.

  • I think we’ll put one of these on front of the Emagi touring bus as and emblem normally where the Mercedes sign is supposed to be. I think it would look kewl.