Not your average Popemobile: Pope sells Harley Davidson

Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:06am EST
 
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PARIS (Reuters) - Signed "Francesco" on its tank, the 1,585 cc Harley Davidson Dyna Super Glide that will be auctioned for charity in Paris on February 6 has an unusual owner - Pope Francis.

The pope will sell his Harley Davidson to raise funds for Caritas Roma, a charity working on behalf of the church, auctioneer Bonhams said on Monday.

The motorcycle was presented to the head of the Roman Catholic Church in June 2013 to mark the motorcycle brand's 110th anniversary. It is not clear if the pope actually rode it.

"I suspect that it will (have) a very limited mileage," said Ben Walker, head of motorcycles at Bonhams.

In line with his focus on the poor and his well-publicized preference for modest modes of transport - he used to take public transport as a cardinal in Buenos Aires - Pope Francis donated the motorcycle to Caritas.

The Harley Davidson will be auctioned at the Grand Palais in Paris as part of Bonham's Les Grandes Marques du Monde sale.

With an estimated worth of around 12,000-15,000 euros ($16,400-$20,500), the motorcycle was signed on the tank by His Holiness at a special ceremony at the Vatican in November. A Harley Davidson leather jacket also signed by the pope will be sold immediately after the motorcycle.

The proceeds will go towards the renovation of the charity's Don Luigi di Liegro hostel and soup kitchen, based in Rome's central Termini rail station.

($1 = 0.7314 euros)

(Reporting By Julia Fioretti; Editing by Michael Roddy and Janet Lawrence)

 
Pope Francis attends an audience with the diplomatic corps at the Vatican January 13, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Medichini/Pool