Hirst is simply beyond belief

BRITISH ARTIST Damien Hirst's latest solo show 'Beyond Belief' at London's White Cube gallery, which closes this weekend, has taken $250 million in sales in just five weeks, the gallery said on Friday.

And that does not include the star work, a diamond encrusted platinum skull whose sale for an asking price of 50 million pounds is still under negotiation.

"The show has realised a quarter of a billion dollars worth of sales without the skull," a spokesman for the gallery said.

Apart from the skull, the show has many new works by Hirst including pickled creatures, a dove suspended in mid-air, a flayed human statue holding its own skin and a series of pictures of a Caesarean birth operation on Hirst's wife.

The 42-year-old is expected to take a 70 per cent cut of the proceeds with the gallery taking the remaining 30 per cent.

The past month has been a good one for the boy from Bristol.

Hirst, who first made his name with diced and pickled quadrupeds, last month became the world's most expensive living artist at auction when his 'Lullaby Spring' pill cabinet sold at Sotheby's for 9.6 million pounds.

But the diamond encrusted skull is by far the most precious piece to date by Hirst, already a millionaire several times over.

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