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The uterine images of Damien Hirst greet hospital residents in Doha

The uterine images of Damien Hirst greet hospital residents in Doha

Patients who visit a £ 6bn hospital in Qatar are greeted by 14 gigantic bronze sculptures by Damien Hirst that graphically chart the period from conception to birth.

The outdoor installation, called The Miraculous Journey, begins with a sculpture that shows a fetus growing in the uterus, and each image shows the progression of the pregnancy, ending with a 14ft baby just after birth.

Workers operate at The Miraculous Journey & # 39 ;, an art installation by artist Damien Hirst outside the Sidra Medical & Research Center in Qatar's capital Doha, on the day of their unveiling on October 10, 2018.
Statue:
Qatar has become an important buyer of contemporary art

The work is the centerpiece of an impressive collection of modern art at the Sidra Medicine Hospital, officially opened this week in the capital Doha.

"We believe it reflects the mission of Sidra, which cares for the health care of women and babies," says Layla Ibrahim Bacha, art specialist at the government-backed Qatar Foundation, who does most of the artwork. possession.

"I think it's perfect for the location, as you can see that many people take pictures, I think it will be iconic."

Workers operate at The Miraculous Journey & # 39 ;, an art installation by artist Damien Hirst outside the Sidra Medical & Research Center in Qatar's capital Doha, on the day of their unveiling on October 10, 2018.
Statue:
The installation is called The Miraculous Journey

Ms. Bacha says that art is chosen with "very specific themes" in mind.

"They are not meant to be decorative, they are meant to create more discussions, help patients to keep them calm," she said.

The sculptures were originally unveiled in October 2013, but then covered with public image until recently.

The official reason was to protect them from ongoing construction work at the hospital, but they are thought to have been hidden after a protest from social media.

"We do not expect everyone to like them, we do not expect everyone to understand them," said Ms. Bacha.

"That is why they are there to actually create this element of debate, this element of thought."

Qatar has become an important consumer of contemporary art because it is trying to portray itself as one of the most progressive states in the Gulf region.

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