Charity wine auction share to go to Paris attack victims

2015-11-16 11:52
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Beaune - Organisers of France's most celebrated charity wine auction said on Sunday that €480 000 of the €11m ($11.8m) raised this year would go to charity, including to victims of the Paris attacks.

The Hospices de Beaune charitable hospital's 155th auction saw bids come in from around the world, enabling this year's event to surpass last year's total of eight million.

An anonymous French buyer purchased a 2015 vintage Corton Renardes Grand cru red, dubbed the "Presidents' Piece", for a record €480 000, and auction organisers said part of the sale would be donated to the Paris victims and their families.

The rest of the proceeds will be donated to the Curie cancer institute and a foundation for brain tumour research.

"[The buyer] wanted to show support for the two charities and also had recent events in mind," Christie's international general director Aline Sylla-Walbaum said, referring to Friday's attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead.

An additional €40 000 raised on Saturday in a spontaneous round of fundraising will also go to the Paris victims and families, organisers said.

The Corton Renardes Grand cru typically retails for around €1 000, Sylla-Walbaum said. The sale broke the previous €400 000 record for a bottle sold at charity set in 2010.

'The show must go on'

Sunday's bids were preceded by a minute's silence for the victims of the coordinated attacks that the Islamic State group have claimed responsibility for. Those present at the auction then sang the French national anthem, the Marseillaise.

Ludivine Griveau, overseeing the event, said a shadow lay over this year's auction.

But head of the Burgundy Wine Board (BIVB), Claude Chevalier, said: "The show must go on. The best we can do is show our determination not to be afraid."

The auction is traditionally preceded by events including folk dancing but this year they were low key and passed off without music while flags flew at half mast.

BIVB deputy president Louis-Fabrice Latour said he was moved to hear the Marseillaise sung at the gathering only "for the second time since the Liberation" from Nazi rule in 1944.

The Beaune auction is the largest wine charity sale in the world and was established in the 15th century by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of the Duke of Burgundy, to fund the city hospital.

Read more on:    france  |  paris under attack

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