The highly anticipated auction of ‘Jewels For Hope: The Collection of Mrs. Lily Safra’, held on the evening of May 14 at Christie's Geneva, realised a total of US$37,924,551 / SFr.35,115,325.
100% sold by lot and by value, this superb collection far exceeded its total pre-sale estimate. As a result of its success, The Lily Safra Foundation has decided to donate the full proceeds of the sale not only to the 20 charitable institutions previously announced but also to 12 additional organisations.
The top lot of the sale was a 32.08 carats cushion-shaped Burmese ruby and diamond ring, by Chaumet, sold for US$6,742,440 / SFr.6,243,000 against an estimate of $3,000,000-5,000,000, setting a new world record price for any ruby sold at auction. Formerly in the collection of Luz Mila Patiño, Countess du Boisrouvray, it has been renamed ‘The Hope Ruby’.
The extraordinary group of 18 jewels by JAR, the largest ever seen on the market from a single-owner collection, sold 100% by lot and by value, totaling US$11,473,920 / SFr.10,624,000 and becoming the most important private-owner collection of JAR jewels ever sold at auction.
Rahul Kadakia, Head of Christie's Geneva and New York Jewellery Departments, commented: “After having achieved an extraordinary total result with the charity auction of her jewels, Mrs. Safra received a standing ovation as she walked into the saleroom at the end of the sale to thank every buyer and bidder who contributed to this evening’s great success. Christie's is proud to have been part of such a major philanthropic event”.
Mrs. Lily Safra declared: “From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who participated in this evening’s success. I am overjoyed, knowing that so many people in need around the world will benefit. Like the jewels sold tonight, these extraordinary organizations make the world a more beautiful place, and it is a great privilege to be able to support them. I am also delighted to announce that due to the success of the auction, 12 additional organizations will each receive $1 million in support of their work”.
All the proceeds from the sale of the collection of Mrs Lily Safra
will benefit 32 charitable institutions
Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, Rwanda
ALEH: Caring for Israel’s Disabled
Alfredo J. Monteverde School, Natal, Brazil
A Window to Tomorrow – A Computer for Every Child, Israel
Children Action, Geneva, Switzerland
Claude Pompidou Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease, Nice, France
Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital, Tel Hashomer, Israel
Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Elton John AIDS Foundation (worldwide)
Fight AIDS Monaco
Henry Street Settlement, New York
Hope and Homes for Children, Romania
Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève
Imperial College, London: Edmond J. Safra Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology & Edmond J. Safra Chair in Radiochemistry
Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord Disorders, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Jordan River Village Camp for seriously ill children
Keren Shemesh, Israel
King’s College, London: Edmond and Lily Safra Parkinson’s Research Fellowships
Le ballet de l’Opéra national de Paris
Les Restaurants du Cœur, France
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, USA
Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York
New York University, Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center
Royal Opera House, London
Université Joseph Fourier, Institut des Neurosciences, Bâtiment Edmond J. Safra & Institut Clinatec, Centre de Recherche Edmond J. Safra, Grenoble, France
University of Toronto and Toronto Western Hospital, Canada: Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s Disease (Dr. Anthony Lang & Dr. Andres Lozano)
Water Treatment Program, Amélia Rodrigues (Bahia), Brazil
Yad Vashem International School, Israel
Yahad-In Unum, France
Selected Beneficiary institutions declared:
David Furnish, Chairman of the Board of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, said: “Lily Safra is a dear friend of Elton’s and mine, but more than that, she has been a true champion in the fight against AIDS. Her support of our critical work has been invaluable. Elton and I are so thankful for her continued generosity through this wonderful auction, and we are very proud of her longtime, personal commitment to AIDS awareness, treatment, and prevention.”
Anne Heyman, Founder of the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, said: “Since its inception a short four years ago, Lily Safra has shown extraordinary support for Agahozo-Shalom. Due to her generosity we were able to construct sufficient buildings so that we can now comfortably house and educate 500 Rwandan orphans at a time. The additional support we receive this evening will help us to build and strengthen our professional skills programming, so that a child who leaves Agahozo-Shalom not only has a high school diploma but also a skill set relevant to the Rwandan job market”.
Professor Sir Richard Trainor, Principal and President of King's College London, said: "Mrs. Safra has long been a major benefactor to us, helping young scholars in Parkinson’s disease research to reach the next stage in their careers. The Edmond and Lily Safra Research Fellow programme, which we are very proud to host, will be able to take the next step forward with this latest very generous gift".
Stefan Darabus, Ph.D., Country Director, Hope and Homes for Children, Romania, said: “For many years, Madame Lily Safra has been a source of support and encouragement for us. Due to her involvement, we have been able to offer thousands of children the chance to a family, and the childhood they deserve. Rarely have we seen such genuine interest in the quality of life of children. Specific issues, such as summer holidays, Christmas presents, or if children have heating during cold winters - are among her concerns. The news that we are on Madame Lily Safra's list of beneficiaries of her amazing jewelry auction brings a new world of opportunities: we are involved in transforming children's lives. Through her support, we will be able to participate in reforming the childcare system in Romania, thus ensuring that, within the next few years, children in this country will live in families, not institutions”.
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