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Lionel Messi's portrait raises USD 556,000 in art auction

London: A London auction of football-themed works raised more than $4 million for children’s charities on Thursday, including a portrait of Barcelona star Lionel Messi by Damien Hirst that alone fetched $556,000.

Lionel Messi

The Sotheby’s London auction featured 18 works donated from artists including Japan’s Takashi Murakami, US sculptor Richard Serra, Egyptian artist Wael Shawky and Saudi Arabia’s Manal al Dowayan. It raised just over $4 million for "1 in 11", a campaign to increase education opportunities to vulnerable children in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal.

The painting of the Argentine footballer, “Beautiful Messi Spin Painting For One in Eleven”, shows the forward in his Barcelona jersey, flanked by two footballs. A Murakami work showing the footballer about to kick a ball on a floral background, “Lionel Messi and a Universe of Flowers”, sold for $483,000.

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