Pope Francis' Harley-Davidson Motorcycle and Jacket Fetches $450,000

By Karen Bliss 2/6/14 | www.samaritanmag.com

Photo: ©L’Osservatore Romano
One of the Pope’s mobiles and rock ‘n’ roll robes was auditioned off for charity today, his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and leather jacket, raising close to a half-million dollars for the renovation of the Caritas Roma’s Don Luigi di Liegro hostel and soup kitchen, based at Rome’s Termini railway station 

Both items are signed by his Holiness — who graces the cover of Rolling Stone magazine this month.

Pope Francis’ 1,585cc Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide — which sparked a bidding war that took six minutes — sold for €241,500 ($364,183 CAD) and Harley-Davidson motorcycle jacket for €57,500 ($86,724 CAD), which took place as part of Bonhams’ Les Grandes Marques du Monde sale at the Grand Palais in Paris today (Feb 6.).

“Watched by a crowd of hundreds, the Harley-Davidson and the leather jacket were the first two lots of the 45-strong motorcycle sale to go under the hammer,” states the press release issued by auctioneer company Bonhams. “The crowd erupted into applause when the hammer came down on the motorcycle as it was won by a telephone bidder.”

Harley-Davidson donated the items to Pope Francis in June 2013 and were bought by separate bidders, the motorcycle by a private buyer in Europe and the jacket to an overseas buyer, according to Bonhams. Pope Francis signed the tank of the hog back in November at a ceremony in the Vatican (its also comes with a ‘certificate of conformity’ from the manufacturer) and the jacket is also signed by the Pontiff.

Caritas Roma’s Don Luigi di Liegro hostel and soup kitchen will use the money for renovations. The hostel opened 30 years ago to help the homeless, jobless and the poor, and the money raised by the sale of the blessed bike will allow it to continue to provide food and accommodation to more than 1,000 people in need every day, the statement said.

Ben Walker, head of motorcycles at Bonhams, said: “I am thrilled with the result achieved and am very pleased for the charity. It has to be a world record for a twenty-first century Harley-Davidson and certainly for a Harley-Davidson leather jacket.”

Enrico Feroci, director of Caritas Roma, added: “We are delighted with the results of the sale, which far exceeded any of our expectations.

“We would like to thank Bonhams for their professionalism with handling the motorcycle and for all their efforts in helping us to achieve such an amazing result.”

The motorcycle was expected to fetch between €12,000 and €15,000 ($18,076 and $22,599 CAD).

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