Hirst's mammoth raises 11 million euros for amfAR's AIDS research

'Gone but not Forgotten' (2014) is the highest grossing lot in amfAR's history.

'Gone but not Forgotten' (2014)

Photographed by Kevin Tachman © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2014

23 May 2014

At last night's Cinema Against AIDS annual gala, Hirst's latest work – the gilded skeleton of a woolly mammoth in a steel and glass vitrine – broke amfAR's auction history by raising €11 million ($15 million) in a single lot. The 21st annual gala raised more than $35 million, helping amfAR in its continued fight against HIV/AIDS. The event was held at the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc and was presented by Worldview Entertainment, Bold Films, and BVLGARI. 

amfAR Fundraising Chairman Sharon Stone and longtime amfAR supporter Harvey Weinstein helped to lead the live auction, along with the evening’s official auctioneer, Simon de Pury. Founded in 1985, amfAR is dedicated to ending the global AIDS epidemic through innovate research. It has invested more than $388 million in its programs and has awarded more than 3,300 grants to research teams worldwide.

Prior to the auction, Hirst explained of the work: "The mammoth comes from a time and place that we cannot ever fully understand. Despite its scientific reality, it has attained an almost mythical status and I wanted to play with these ideas of legend, history and science by gilding the skeleton and placing it within a monolithic gold tank. It's such an absolute expression of mortality, but I've decorated it to the point where it's become something else, I've pitched everything I can against death to create something more hopeful, it is Gone but not Forgotten."

A short film of the fabrication of the work can be viewed in our Video section.