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Christie’s auctioneer Lionel Gosset (left) will hold the gavel at next year’s charity auction in Phnom Penh
Christie’s auctioneer Lionel Gosset (left) will hold the gavel at next year’s charity auction in Phnom Penh. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Global auction house to hold the gavel in a charity arts sale

Auction house giant Christie’s will next year participate in a charity auction in Phnom Penh for the second time, it was announced yesterday. Auctioneer Lionel Gosset from the house will sell paintings, sculptures, fashion and jewelry by more than 30 local artists and designers.

The event, which will take place in March at the Sofitel Hotel, will be organised by the arts agency ReCreation. Following Christie’s Charity Auction 2012, which raised more than $40,000, this year’s proceeds will go to arts-based charities Cambodia 2000 and Amrita Performing Arts. Madeleine de Langalerie, founder and CEO of ReCreation, said the initial idea came from a desire to promote Cambodian artists as well as to contribute to the emerging arts sector in the Kingdom. She said: “The auction in 2012 was a huge success.”

Artists will donate the artworks, but also have the opportunity to sell their work at the Galerie des Arts, a three-month long commercial exhibition at the Sofitel also to launch in March.

De Langalerie said: “We wanted to reward the artists who give their art. They give something, so we wanted to give them the opportunity to get something back.”

Cambodia 2000, wich was founded by the late HRH Norodom Vacheahra in 1996, has recently launched two new programmes, the first donating free art supplies to rural schools and the second donating to emerging artists in search of financial aid. Amrita Performing Arts aims to revive and preserve Cambodian performing arts. Each charity was chosen specifically for their artistic vision, De Langalerie said.

Princess Norodom Veasna Diva Sirivudh, spokesperson for Cambodia 2000, said the association was founded with the recognition that a vibrant national culture could revitalise the country following decades of war. She said: “I thank Christie’s and ReCreation for giving us the opportunity to continue the work of Cambodia 2000 into the field of art and design. Induction of these programmes is a fitting memorial to Princess Vacheahra’s love for this country and her love of the arts.”

Kang Rithisal, executive director at Amrita, said: “The support and participation of Christie’s charity auction, exhibition and events will be a catalyst to embracing and enabling these emerging artists to grow like new flowers creating and adding to the beauty of their country’s arts and culture.”

Contemporary photographer, painter and sculptor Nou Sary is one of the artists whose work will be featured at both the auction and exhibition. Although he was born in Cambodia, he now lives in Lyon, France. He said he was happy to give something back to Cambodia 2000 and Amrita. He said: “I am happy to donate to people less fortunate than me.”

Lionel Gosset, the auctioneer from Christie’s who will participate, said he often auctions for charity. “I like to get involved in charity projects, especially for countries that have been suffering. This auction will help young artists.”

Christie’s Charity Auction will take place on March 30. The Galerie des Arts exhibition will begin on March 1 and last for three months. Both will be held at the Sofitel Hotel in Phnom Penh.

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