Green Auction to mark 40th anniversary of Earth Day

Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:53pm EDT
 
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By Christopher Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Artists, conservationists, business leaders and film and music stars from around the globe are marking the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day with a Green Auction to benefit the environment.

Organizers of the live auction on Thursday at Christie's and a companion silent online sale and related events, known as "A Bid to Save the Earth," expect to raise millions for four nonprofit environmental groups.

Artists Jenny Holzer, Damien Hirst, Alan Sonfist have donated major works for the sale. Jeff Koons will provide a studio visit to the highest bidder and Annie Leibovitz has donated signed copies of her book.

Bidders can also vie for tennis lessons with John McEnroe, an afternoon in Central Park with Canice Bergen, dinner and the theater with actress Sigourney Weaver or a day on the set with Australian star Hugh Jackman.

Jewelry, watches and luxury green travel packages will round out the items up for grabs at Thursday's auction.

"It's an unprecedented collaboration," said Susan Cohn Rockefeller, who is co-chair of the auction with husband David Rockefeller Jr., a philanthropist and environmental activist.

With participation from quarters as far-reaching as Deutsche Bank, NBC Universal and retailers Target and Barneys, officials said the event reflected increasing understanding that business concerns are closely tied to environmental issues, and that two need not be opposing forces.

"We're building bridges with different communities," said Peter Lehner, executive director of the international environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Counsel, which will benefit from the event.   Continued...

 
<p>Labourers dig a drain in a dry field at Mankapally in Adilabad district of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh April 21, 2010. World Earth Day is observed on Thursday. Picture taken April 21, 2010. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder</p>