But while three dead sheep and a shark in formaldehyde were waved through, the tools were deemed too dangerous and sent back to London. “I went there to sing, to give the audience joy and pleasure. But what was I supposed to do when some people started booing? What if they had thrown stones at me or some crazy person had attacked me?” Hirst’s solution? He got his Cheltenham studio to build a signature glass case, arrange the tools inside it and fly the whole thing back, disguised as a piece of art (it even had a title: Immaculate Conception). On arrival, the glass was smashed and the tools put to use – proving that you really can get away with anything if you put it in a vitrine.

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