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Friday, 11 December 2015

Old Master raises £550,000 for work with refugees in our diocese

Julia by Joseph Wright. Photo Credit: Sotheby's
I reported a little while back about a remarkable gift of a painting, Julia, by Joseph Wright, which has been given to United Society (formerly USPG) for auction at Sotheby's with the proceeds to go towards the United Society's support for the work with refugees in this Diocese, particularly in Greece. The Old Master was predicted to sell at auction for £100,000 to £150,000.

Well I have just heard from the United Society last night of the staggering success of the auction. The painting sold for £665,000. Once commission and the buyer’s premium have been deducted, around £550,000 will be realised and applied to the refugee appeal! The auction took a mere 2 minutes and 7 seconds, according to Janette O’Neill, the General Secretary and CEO of United Society.

This now means that we are in a position to prepare better for a longer-term strategic response to this crisis, which will continue for some years. 

Janette summed up our response in these words which echoes our gratitude for this extraordinary gift: "We give heartfelt thanks to the vision and compassion of the donor and his family, cheerful thanks to the purchaser, and pray for the wisdom and creativity to bring about good outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people on this globe".

The United Society appeal for refugees in Europe is here.

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