art or just stupid?
"The latest project of British modern artist Damien Hirst, a skull cast in platinum and encased in diamonds, will be the most expensive piece of artwork ever created, it was reported today.
Entitled For the Love of God, the life-size human skull, covered in 8,500 diamonds, will cost between eight and STG10 million ($A24.84 million) to create, The Observer newspaper said.
Hirst remains best known for earlier conceptual works in which creatures including a shark and a cow were pickled in formaldehyde inside glass tanks.
"We have been buying diamonds slowly and have worked out that it will take about eight and a half thousand to completely cover the surface of the skull," the 40-year-old told The Observer.
"The biggest expense will be the 50-carat beauty that will sit on the forehead. That one alone will cost in the region of three million to five million pounds ($A7.45 A12.42 million).
"It is certainly the biggest single undertaking by a jeweller since the Crown jewels."
He said creating the world's most expensive work of art would be "a lot less stressful than putting a bloody great shark in a tank of formaldehyde".
"I just want to celebrate life by saying to hell with death. What better way of saying that than by taking the ultimate symbol of death and covering it in the ultimate symbol of luxury, desire and decadence?
"The only part of the original skull that will remain will be the teeth. You need that grotesque element for it to work as a piece of art. God is in the details and all that.
"I've always adhered to the principle that the simplest ideas are the best, and this will be the ultimate two fingers up to death. I want people to see it and be astounded. I want them to gasp."
Seriously, what a wanker.