Last year we revealed that Damien Hirst was to replace the rotting shark in his The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 1991 bought by collector Steve Cohen (above) from Charles Saatchi, reportedly for £6.5m. The work is now on loan to the Metropolitan Museum in New York for three years.
Now the British artist is to repair his Mother and Child, Divided (1993), an installation of a bisected cow and calf in four formaldehyde tanks, in the collection of the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo. The work is leaking and has been sent to the artist’s studio in London for emergency repairs.
“A leak emerged due to a flaw in the glass, and some formaldehyde was lost,” says Gunnar Kvaran, the museum’s director. This edition of the work was displayed at London’s Tate Britain in 1995 as part of the Turner prize exhibition. Hirst won the award that year.
A second version of the work on loan from the artist goes on show this month at Tate Britain as part of a Turner Prize retrospective (2 October-6 January 2008).
Although only one case in the Astrup Fearnley version is damaged, all four have been sent to Hirst. “Our insurance will probably have to cover the costs of conservation,” says Mr Kvaran, who declined to disclose what these are. The Art Newspaper understands that the museum bought the piece in 1996 for around 1.5m Norwegian Kroner ($266,000) from White Cube gallery in London.