According to the Daily Mail, Damien Hirst is allegedly building a new ‘art factory’ on the edge of a housing estate in Gloucestershire. The size of 34 tennis courts, the custom-built, high security plant’s sole purpose is to preserve dead animals in formaldehyde, converting them into lucrative – and rather banal – artworks. (This is a technique Hirst first made famous in 1991 with his key work, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living).
Locals are less than impressed with the prospect of having an ‘abattoir’ on their doorstep and have petitioned against its construction, which would bring carcinogenic formaldehyde within metres of their homes. Not only that, they can expect a steady stream of lorries ferrying dead animals to the site, where they’ll be fork-lifted into the space before being dipped into chemical baths. But it’s not all bad – the factory’s said to be solar powered, carbon neutral and will even contain a fancy dining room for special guests (provided the slaughterhouse atmosphere doesn’t kill their appetite…).