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Francis' holy Harley up for auction

2014-01-14 08:58

POPE'S HARLEY UP FOR AUCTON: Pope Francis will auction off his Harley Davidson motorbike to raise funds for charity. Image: Bonhams

LONDON, England - A Harley-Davidson motorcycle given to the current Pope, Francis, by the Milwaukee manufacturer will be auctioned in February 2014 in Paris.

London-based auctioneer Bonhams said the 1585cc Dyna Super Glide was given to the Pope in June 2013 to mark the 110th anniversary of the US motorcycle-maker. The bike, its fuel tank signed by Francis, is expected to fetch the equivalent of somewhere between R177 00 and R220 000 when it goes on sale at the Grand Palais in Paris on February 6 2014.

'BIG DONATION'

The Pope donated the Harley in November 2013 to the Roman Catholic charity Caritas Roma and the funds from the sale will go towards the restoration of a hostel and soup kitchen at Rome's Termini railway station. 

Ben Walker, head of motorcycles at Bonhams, said: "We are incredibly honoured to be selling this item on behalf of Caritas Roma. We hope to be able to do both Pope Francis and Harley-Davidson proud by raising a significant amount of money for a very worthy cause."

Francis, 77, is not thought to have ridden the Harley, a make well-known for its use by motorcycle clubs, among them the Hell's Angels. The famously humble pontiff is more a fan of buses - he opted to ride one the day after his election in 2013 instead of taking a limousine and regularly used them in his homeland, Argentina, instead of taxis.

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