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Pope's Harley-Davidson fetches 210,000 euros at auction

Paris - A Harley-Davidson motorbike that was presented to Pope Francis last year sold Thursday at a charity auction for 210,000 euros (283,925 dollars), more than 10 times the guide price.

The gavel came down after a bidding war between internet and phone bidders at a sale of classic and vintage vehicles in the Grand Palais hall in Paris.

The total price, including expenses, came out at 241,500 euros, Bonhams auction house said afterwards.

The bidding started at 20,000 euros and then climbed, first in increments of 2,000 euros and, at the end, 10,000 euros.

An internet bid won the day. "Someone up there is feeling very charitable," the auctioneer joked, declaring it a record for a non-vintage model.

Bonhams said the buyer was a European but gave no further details.

The 1,585cc Dyna Super Glide Custom came with the pope’s signature -"Francesco"- on the fuel tank.

Bonhams had estimated its value at 12,000 to 15,000 euros. The proceeds go to the Catholic charity Caritas, which is raising funds to renovate a hostel and soup kitchen at Rome’s main train station.

The pope, who has championed the plight of the poor, received the bike when he met and blessed a group of Harley riders, who travelled to Rome to celebrate the brand’s 110th birthday in June. It is not clear if he ever rode it. Bonhams said the mileage was likely to be minimal.

A leather Harley-Davidson jacket that Francis received on the same occasion and also signed sold for 50,000 euros, excluding the premium.

dpa


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