Grenfell art auction raises almost Dh9.2 million for survivors

The total achieved for the sale of the 31 lots was double the pre-auction estimate

An auction for surviving families of the Grenfell Tower fire has raised £1.9 million  (Dh9,2 million) at Sotheby’s in London.

The total achieved for the sale of the 31 lots on Monday night – donated by some of the world’s biggest contemporary artists including Tracey Emin, Anthony Gormley and Wolfgang Tillmans – was double the pre-auction estimate of £700,000-£1,000,000.

100 per cent of lots were sold.

Sotheby’s said the proceeds will be distributed to Grenfell survivors before Christmas by the Rugby Portobello Trust, a charity which has been closely supporting the Grenfell residents since the fire in June.


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The fire killed about 80 people at a London social housing block in June.

Home to a close-knit, multi-ethnic community, the 24-storey tower in a deprived housing estate was reduced to a charred ruin by the inferno that engulfed it in the middle of the night.

Many survivors have yet to be rehoused and are still living in hotels.

As The National predicted on Monday, Freischwimmer 193 by Wolfgang Tillmans ended up fetching more than double its pre-auction estimate, selling for just shy of £393,000.

The other highest prices were set by Antony Gormley's Small Charge (£344,750) and Yinka Shonibare MBE's Bad School Boy (£200,000).

“Art for Grenfell” was organised by film producer Hamish McAlpine and art consultant Katie Heller, who worked with the artists to secure works for the sale.

A number of artists also created works especially for the sale. Tacita Dean's Lay The Dust With Tears realised £22,500, compared to an estimate of between £10,000 - £15,000, while Idris Khan's I Remember made £43,750 (estimated £10,000-15,000).

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