Damien Hirst is again playing the role of philanthropist (so I have to be nice), along with Raqib Shaw and Marc Quinn. The artists have donated paintings to an auction that London jeweler Laurence Graff is holding for FACET (For Africa's Children Every Time). Graff wants to raise $1.26 million for the organization, which seeks to support the education, health and quality of life of children in Africa ... where Graff Diamonds picks up most of its raw material.
Graff's event follows several other charity auctions this year, all of which were pretty impressive in their results. Sotheby's raised ₤453,950 for two organizations that help orphans in Africa, and Christie's raised an astounding €342.5 million at its Yves Saint Laurent collection auction back in February – the money will be used to fund HIV research and fight the spread of AIDS.
The first lot donated was by Graff himself: diamond earrings estimated to be worth around ₤80,000. The other paintings (e.g., by Hirst) are pegged at around ₤100,000 each.