DiCaprio's wildlife charity auction brings in $38.8 million

Tue May 14, 2013 11:41am EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Christie's auction house raised $38.8 million through a charity art auction and donations, Christie's said on Tuesday, with proceeds to benefit environmental and conservation causes.

The 33 works in The 11th Hour Auction organized by the star of the new film "The Great Gatsby" sold for $31.74 million on Monday evening and set 13 records for artists including Carol Bove, Joe Bradley, Mark Grotjahn, Raymond Pettibon and Mark Ryden among others.

A $5 million matching donation for three of the lots and additional gifts from donors brought the overall total to $38.8 million for The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, according to Christie's.

"All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you," DiCaprio told the audience at the end of the auction.

Many of the works, which were created for and donated to the auction by the artists, sold in spirited bidding in a packed auction house. Art collectors from around the globe also placed bids by telephone.

"Christie's is thrilled with the exceptional results of the sale, which realized $38.8 million," said Loic Gouzer, international specialist at Christie's and the head of the sale.

"The works of art were of incredible quality and range, and highlight the generosity of the many artists who donated," he added.

A panel of environmental experts and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will decide which conservation projects will benefit from the proceeds of the sale.   Continued...

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio attends the "The Great Gatsby" world premiere at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York in this May 1, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Files