Record charity wine auction share to go to Paris attack victims

GMT 06:32 2015 Monday ,16 November

Arab Today, arab today Record charity wine auction share to go to Paris attack victims

An auctioneer supervises the 155th charity wine auction
Beaune - AFP

Organisers of France's most celebrated charity wine auction said Sunday part of record proceeds of 480,000 euros ($530,000) would go to victims of the Paris attacks and their families.

The Hospices de Beaune charitable hospital's 115th auction saw bids come in from around the world, enabling this year's event to smash the previous record sum of 400,000 euros in 2010.

Some 40,000 euros of separate donations would also go to Paris attack victims and families, it said.

Sunday's bids were preceded by a minute's silence for the 129 people known to have been killed in Friday's coordinated attacks.

Those present then sang the French national anthem, the Marseillaise.

The top item, a 2015 Corton Renardes Grand cru red, a bottle of which typically retails for around 1,000 euros, went to an anonymous French buyer, according to Christie's international general director, Aline Sylla-Walbaum.

The money raised will be split between attack victims and two associations which the event usually supports -- the Curie cancer institute and a foundation for brain tumour research.

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

But Claude Chevalier head of the Burgundy Wine Board (BIVB), 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 folkloric dancing but this year they were low key and passed off without music while flags decked in bows of mourning flew at half mast.

Saturday, a spontaneous round of fundraising saw more than 40,000 euros raised for the attacks' victims, according to BIVB deputy president Louis-Fabrice Latour.

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.


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