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Strata: The Bible In the News

Every so often, I imagine a column, but it just doesn’t work out. I feared the phrase “golden calf” might be one when I uncovered the tale of a British rugby player named Jason Golden, whose injured calf made him an unlikely starter in upcoming matches—this “Golden calf” was clearly not the one I was seeking. But thankfully, “salvation,” in the form of this column, came from an unlikely source: the British artist-of-the-moment Damien Hirst, whose Golden Calf recently shook the often-intertwined artistic and financial establishments worldwide.

Hirst’s creation can be described succinctly as “a bull in a tank of formaldehyde,” but that would be a little like describing the Calf of Exodus 32 as a bovine encased in bullion. Hirst’s Golden Calf consists (in a description combining the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Express) of “a tawny bull calf with hooves and horns of 18-carat gold, preserved in formaldehyde inside a gold-plated tank [which] is raised on a Carrara marble plinth.”

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