Hirst Sculpture Springs a Leak

Oslo museum discovers puddle of formaldehyde from vitrine
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2007 7:21 AM CDT
An installation view of the work Mother and Child Divided, by Damien Hirst.   (Tate)
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(Newser) – Damien Hirst won fame and fortune for his installations of animals preserved in formaldehyde, but now, writes the Telegraph, his vitrines are in less-than-perfect shape. The Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo recently discovered liquid seeping out of sculpture Mother and Child Divided, which preserves a cow and calf sliced into segments. It's not the first Hirst to have integrity problems.

The museum will replace the glass in the vitrine and complete minor repairs to the tank's seams. But as contemporary art takes on new materials, it brings with it new conservation concerns, as well as business ones: Last year the billionaire hedge-fund investor Steven Cohen paid $13 million for a work containing a preserved shark only to discover that the fish was rotting.