The work consisted of the split carcasses of a cow and a calf in separate glass tanks of formaldehyde. But Venice is, after all, a town of floods, and sure enough the glass cases began leaking while on display at the Aperto Gallery, giving off a bouquet stronger than the whiffiest canal in August.
A representative of the artist told us that the sealant was at fault, and the problem had been fixed. Rival American and German buyers were already fighting over these choice cuts of British meat, whose asking price was more than pounds 12,000. Mr Hirst, by the way, was in Cologne last week preparing another exhibition of livestock.