A triptych by British artist Damien Hirst on Argentine footballer Lionel Messi was sold for more than half a million dollars at a charity auction in London.
Beautiful Messi Spin was awarded by 365.000 pounds (492.700 euros; $ 562.300) at auction 1 in 11 held at Sotheby’s to cover educational projects in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal. Another work with Barça player as the protagonist: Lionel Messi and a universe of flowers, by the Japanese Takashi Murakami, was topped by 317.000 pounds (427.900 euros; $ 488.000).
The event served to collect nearly 2.5 million pounds (3.4 million euros; $ 3.8 million). Jeff Koons and Hirst joined the F.C. Barcelona, Unicef and organization ROTA for this campaign. In total were auctioned 20 pieces, many of them inspired by the world of football. “I must say that I am not an expert in the world of art…” Messi said in an interview in the auction catalog, “but I am flattered that two great artists such as Takashi Murakami and Damien Hirst created a work of art with my image… I think that the fusion of art, sport and education is fantastic; all three fields have a lot in common”, he added.
The Japanese artist Murakami also designed a colorful ball, in which Messi signed his name later to be bought in 45.000 pounds ($ 69.300; 61,000 euros); the world’s most expensive ball, according to Sotheby’s. “It’s the first time we have joined a football theme” with art, “and that’s what makes it so electrifying” this event, said Oliver Barker, curator of the auction.
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