Auction featuring artworks by Picasso, Dali and Mandela raises €8.2 million for charity

Live Auction in aid of 100 Million Meals
Live Auction in aid of 100 Million Meals Copyright Euronews
By Evan Bourke
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Art-loving philanthropists dug deep into their pockets to support the 100 Million Meals campaign — the biggest food drive in the MENA region.


An auction of artworks in Dubai, which included pieces from Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Nelson Mandela, has raised €8.2 million for charity.

The event, held at the Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah hotel on April 24, saw art-loving philanthropists dig deep into their pockets to support the 100 Million Meals campaign.

The initiative is the biggest food drive in the MENA region and, as its name suggests, aims to provide 100 million meals for disadvantaged individuals and families in 20 different countries.

The auction was streamed live online and bidding was also carried out remotely.

As well as works from legendary artists pieces from iconic individuals not best known for their artistry were featured in the action.

Two works by Mandela titled Swallow (black and white) and Swallow (line drawing) sold at the auction for €223,000.

The former president of South Africa took inspiration from swallows whilst imprisoned on Robben Island, in Cape Town, South Africa — he would look up to the sky and reflect on the fact that only the birds were free.

100 Million Meals
Mandela's Artwork100 Million Meals

Also featured in the auction was a piece from one of the most celebrated artists of all time, Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali. 

The artwork titled Study of faces: Madonna, child and profile of a man, which was created around 1954 and measures just 30 x 22.7cm, sold for €91,000.

100 Million Meals
Dali's artwork100 Million Meals

Pablo Picasso was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and his masterpieces are some of the most notable in history. 

The lot up for auction was made up of seven medallions in 23-carat gold, which were created in 1956. 

Picasso worked in collaboration with goldsmith Francois Hugo to produce them and they had remained in a private collection until the sale. 

Pablo Picasso's great-grandson, Florian Picasso, was present at the auction to see the fruits of his great-grandfather's work auctioned off.

100 Million Meals
One of Picassos' gold medallions100 Million Meals

One of the highlights of the evening was the auction of a piece from the private collection of Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. 

He donated the Kiswa, which raised €2.2 million for the 100 Million Meals initiative.

British artist Sacha Jafri who is a Dubai resident and holds the Guinness World Record for 'the Largest Art Canvas in the World raised the most money on the night with one part of his "The Journey of Humanity" painting selling for almost €3.5m.

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'A new hope - a child's prayer' by Sacha Jafri100 Million Meals

A selection of other notable pieces went under the hammer at the event: David Hockney's paintings "The Sailor" and "In Front of House Looking West" were up for grabs alongside "Untitled" and "Personages, Oiseau" paintings by Joan Miró and "Fleurs dans un vase" by French artist Henri Matisse.

100 Million Meals
'Fleurs dans un vase' by Henri Matisse100 Million Meals

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, the foundation behind the campaign, set a target of raising €22.5 million for  100 Million Meals, which it achieved.


It collaborated with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, Food Banking Regional Network, the United Nations World Food Programme and humanitarian organisations in beneficiary countries. 

The United Nations set the goal of ending all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people — especially children — have sufficient and nutritious food all year.

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