Cumbria

Carlisle hospice could make £10,000 from Hirst art

Damien Hirst heart
Image caption The original Hirst piece is called Beautiful Spun Heart

The funds of a Carlisle hospice are likely to be bolstered by at least £10,000 after artist Damien Hirst donated an original work.

Campaigners at the Eden Valley Hospice were amazed when Hirst, perhaps best known for his preserved sharks and cows, agreed to help.

The hospice asked 200 celebrities to decorate small wooden hearts which are to be sold off.

Hirst's heart, which is insured for £10,000, will be auctioned separately.

All the submitted offerings for the Have A Heart For The Hospice appeal, will go on display at the Rheged Centre near Penrith next month.

Other famous names to have contributed include Prime Minister David Cameron, former Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards, actress Joanna Lumley and former Doctor Who Colin Baker.

The majority will be sold for £145, but buyers will not be told who painted their purchases until later.

The hospice, which opened in 1991, has 12 adult beds and five for children.

Image caption The other wooden hearts decorated by celebrities will be sold for £145 each

Fundraising manager Colin Powell said: "I would like to think that we will raise at least £20,000.

"The Damien Hirst heart, called Beautiful Spun Heart, is insured for £10,000 but we think we might get even more than that for it.

"Because it is so valuable we are handling his slightly differently to the rest and selling it through an auction, although it will be on display for the entire exhibition at Rheged.

"We are very grateful to everyone who has helped. It means a lot to the hospice."

The Rheged exhibition will run from 5 November until 11 November.

Hirst, 45, is internationally renowned and is now thought to be Britain's wealthiest artist.

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