Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

What Am I Bid for This Damien Hirst Shark?: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

What Am I Bid for This Damien Hirst Shark?: News

Article excerpt

Formaldehyde-free artwork fetches Pounds 60K at school fundraiser.

While less well-placed schools might auction off a book token or a basket of soaps at a fundraising event, the Harrodian School likes to go one better.

The exclusive independent in southwest London, which educates the children of the rich and often famous, took it in its stride when one parent - artist Damien Hirst (pictured) - donated a painting of a shark to its charity auction. Another parent - Turner Prize winner Anish Kapoor - also donated a print to the event, held at Mansion House in London.

The auction, which included signed memorabilia from former pupil and Twilight star Robert Pattinson, raised Pounds 104,000 for the Kids Company charity. The Damien Hirst, one of his "spin paintings" of a shark silhouette, sold for Pounds 60,000 alone after being auctioned off by actress Gillian Anderson. A Rolling Stones 50th anniversary book signed by another parent - Mick Jagger - sold for Pounds 6,000.

The money will go towards buying beds for the vulnerable children who approach Kids Company for help, following research that showed a third of those who refer themselves to the charity do not have a bed. It is part of a wider push by the school to engage more widely with the community: it is also backing a free school, due to open next year. …

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