London Olympic exhibition for British artist Damien Hirst
A major exhibition by British artist Damien Hirst will open in London in April featuring his most famous works such as a skull covered with diamonds and animals suspended in formaldehyde.
The retrospective at the Tate Modern gallery is part of the Cultural Olympiad, a festival of arts which has its finale at the 2012 Olympics in the British capital.
Featuring about 70 works, the five-month show will be the biggest ever retrospective of the 46-year-old artist's work.
A major draw will be "For the Love of God", a life-sized platinum cast of an 18th-century skull encrusted with 8,601 diamonds.
Also on display will be Hirst's controversial works featuring animals suspended in formaldehyde in glass cases, including a shark, a cow, sheep and fish.
Works fashioned from medical instruments will be on display, as will "Black Sun", made of dead flies squashed together.
Curator Ann Gallagher said many of the works were famous but seeing them up close was a different experience: "They are very well-known images, but how many have actually been seen?"
Hirst, born in 1965, was brought up by his mother in the northern English city of Leeds. He was part of the 1990s "Young British Artists" movement.
© 2011 AFP