Pope Francis’ Harley-Davidson motorcycle was bought by an anonymous bidder for nearly 20 times its estimated price at an auction held at Bonham’s Paris office, the auction house said in a press release.
The Dyna Super Glide, signed “Francesco” on the tank, eventually sold for €241,500 after a bidding war that lasted six minutes. The pre-sale estimate of the bike was just €12,000-€15,000. A Harley-Davidson leather jacket, also signed by the Pope, sold for €57,500.
The motorbike and the leather jacket were the first two lots of the auction that featured a total of 45 motorcycles. The sale of the 1,585cc Dyna Super Glide was greeted with loud applause from the crowd as the deal was sealed by the telephone bidder.
The bike went to a buyer from Europe, while the jacket was bought by an anonymous overseas bidder.
“It has to be a world record for a twenty-first century Harley-Davidson and certainly for a Harley-Davidson leather jacket,” Bonhams’ head of motorcycles Ben Walker commented.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church received the Harley-Davidson and the leather jacket as a gift from the manufacturer to celebrate the company’s 110th anniversary. Pope Francis had donated the motorcycle to the Caritas Roma charity, which helps people in need on behalf of the Catholic Church.
The proceeds raised from the sale will be used for the renovation of Caritas Roma’s Don Luigi di Liegro hostel and a soup kitchen located at Rome’s Termini railway station.
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