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Countdown to Marwell's charity auction for headturning pieces of art
2:40pm Monday 7th October 2013 in News
IT IS a tough act to follow but Southampton’s rhinos are up for the challenge.
With just weeks to go before the Go! Rhinos sculptures go under the hammer for charity, there are high hopes that thousands will be raised after the Gromit sculptures in Bristol were auctioned off for more than £2.3m.
The astonishing amount raised by the 81 dog statues depicting animation favourite Wallace’s best friend has left Marwell hoping that buyers will be queueing up to bid for the city’s magnificent rhinos later this month.
One statue, Gromit Lightyear, designed by animation studio Pixar and based on the Toy Story character, sold for £65,000, while the May Contain Nuts Gromit designed by Natalie Guy, who also created the Kyma rhino that could be found in the Bargate d u r i n g S o u t h a m p - ton’s trail, raised £30,000.
With the Wallace and Gromit brand behind the dog statues, the auction was always going to attract more big-money bidders than similar auctions in the past. But while Marwell are not expecting to match the amount raised, they believe the overwhelming support for the Gromits will boost interest in the 37 rhinos that entertained more than 250,000 in Southampton this summer.
Kirstie Mathieson, project leader, said: “The support for the G r o m i t Unleashed auction was astounding and I am thrilled that one of the artists who also designed one of our rhinos saw her Gromit sold for so much.
“Hopefully Southampton will get behind the Go! Rhinos Charity Fundraising Auction and help to raise vital funds for three such worthy charities.
“Most sculptures from other projects, such as the Go Go Gorillas in Norwich, have made between £1,500 and £5,000 at auction, so the Gromit event really was unprecedented.
Displayed “However, we are hoping we have some bidders with deep pockets on the night and the numbers go sky high.”
All the rhinos will be displayed at Marwell Zoo from Thursday to next Monday for a special Rhinotastic Weekend to allow potential bidders to see what is on offer and discuss the auction with Kirstie.
If you are unable to make the event at the Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton, on October 30, in person, do not worry, bidders can register as a telephone bidder or place a proxy bid.
The money raised on the night will be split between Marwell’s conservation projects, Wessex Heartbeat’s HIGH 5 Appeal and The Rose Road Association.
Tickets are £15. To apply for tickets and register as a bidder call Kirstie on 01962 777 931.
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