From suspended sharks to butterflies and skulls, contemporary British artist Damien Hirst has unveiled his first major retrospective at Tate Modern.

Showcasing 70 exclusive art works, the exhibition is part of a festival of arts, which will have its finale at the 2012 Olympics and will run from 4 April to 9 Sep, 2012. Internationally renowned and reportedly Britain's richest living artist, Hirst's wealth has recently been valued at a staggering £215m.

One of the major attractions at the event is the 18th-century skull called For the Love of God encrusted with 8,601 diamonds, which will be on display under tight security in the Tate's massive turbine hall. Hirst is reportedly selling the piece for £50m.

Another exclusive creation featured in the exhibition is the The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, in which Hirst suspended a shark in formaldehyde.

His other creations include vitrines such as A Thousand Years from 1990, medicine cabinets, pill cabinets and instrument cabinets, along with seminal paintings made throughout his career using butterflies and flies as well as spots and spins.

Although regarded as the reigning king of the British contemporary art world, there are many who question the authenticity of his creations.

The Guardian commented that Hirst is either the presiding genius of contemporary British art, justifiably making a fortune by thrilling audiences with his memorable reflections on life and death, or he is an empty con artist, making a fool of us and raking in millions from buyers with more money than sense.

There have been several instances in the past when sources for certain of Hirst's works have been challenged and contested as plagiarised, both in written articles by journalists and artists, and, in one instance, through legal proceedings which led to an out-of-court settlement.

IB Times UK has compiled a slideshow of some of the works in the exhibition.