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This Britain

Hirst: I'm working on a skull worth £10m

Damien Hirst is creating the world's most expensive piece of art - a life-size human skull cast in platinum and encased entirely in diamonds.

The artist, who is best known for his shark suspended in formaldehyde, says the piece, which he is naming For the Love of God, will cost between £8m and £10m to make.

In an interview with The Observer newspaper, the 40-year- old, who was recently rated the most powerful individual in the contemporary art world by Art Review magazine, said that it will take around 8,500 diamonds to cover the whole of the skull's surface.

The millionaire, who is collaborating with Bond Street jewellers Bentley & Skinner, added: "The biggest expense will be the 50-carat beauty that will sit on the forehead.

"That one alone will cost in the region of £3m to £5m. It is certainly the biggest single undertaking by a jeweller since the Crown Jewels."