The 11th Hour Auction at Christie’s helped to raise $38 million to protect endangered species, explains Animal Support founder Julian Omidi.
On Monday evening the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation held a special auction at Christie’s in New York, called the “11th Hour Auction” in order to help fund global conservation efforts. Efforts that the proceeds of the auction will benefit include the creation of natural habitats and sanctuaries for endangered species. In total, 33 works of art were auctioned off for the event, which raised a total of $38.8 million, making the auction the most valuable to support conservation work.
The need for these conservation projects and for funds in order to support them is more important than ever; 140,000 different species of plants and animal become extinct every year and less than 2% of philanthropic financial support globally goes to these conservation efforts.
Leonardo DiCaprio reportedly put in a great deal of work in order to make the auction a success, from convincing contemporary artists such as Rob Pruitt and Sergej Jensen to either donate or create works for the auction to calling up bidders personally in the days leading up to the auction. As a result of this personal involvement several records were broken for both the artists and Christie’s for bidding.
At the beginning of the evening, before bidding opened, DiCaprio noted the importance of treating our planet in the same way that we treat fine art, “…as something of value that we can protect and preserve for our children and our grandchildren.” Clearly those in attendance and bidding recognized the importance of doing so.
By Julian Omidi