December 01, 2008

Tibet House Auction Hosted by Petra Nemcova

Tonight, December 1st.

Can you tell me about the Tibet House Benefit Auction and how you got involved in that?
This is my second time hosting the event; I hosted it last year as well. It’s an auction at Christie’s, and a lot of the items are very adventurous—for example a trip to Bhutan, but done in a very special way. There’s also a $20,000 shopping spree at Donna Karan. I’m hosting it with Robert Thurman, who is a professor of Tibetan Studies at Columbia University and the president of Tibet House. One of the items up for bid is dinner with Robert and his daughter Uma.

And what exactly does Tibet House do?
They’re trying to preserve the cultural treasures of Tibetan heritage. The people of Tibet have been struggling for some time now; I haven’t been to Tibet, but I’ve been on the edge of it—in Nepal—and the culture has been close to my heart for many years. They’ve always had such a peaceful approach to life, especially when you consider the violence they’ve been stricken with. And unfortunately it’s a culture that’s been endangered, so I’d like to help to try and preserve it by bringing more awareness to it.

Another auction-related item from early November:

Buyers were reluctant to make expensive purchases at this week's Asian Art in London promotion, dealers said, after a 2.5 million-pound ($3.95 million) Buddha was withdrawn on the morning of Sotheby's Nov. 5 auction of Chinese works of art.

The 2-foot, 6-inch high Ming Dynasty statue, entered by a Scottish family, was the most valuable piece in a catalog that Sotheby's had expected would raise at least 6 million pounds. After the piece was withdrawn, the 341-lot sale fetched 3.3 million pounds with fees, with 67 percent of the material finding buyers. No work sold for more than 200,000 pounds.

``The sellers felt it had to be withdrawn because of the state of the market,'' said Robert Bradlow, head of Sotheby's Chinese department in London. ``When we first took in the piece, it was a totally different situation. We're in the first phase of a change.''

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