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Sunday, 8 April, 2001, 08:12 GMT 09:12 UK
Versace auction fetches $10m
Porcelain
600 items up for auction
An auction of furniture, art and clothing belonging to the murdered fashion designer, Gianni Versace, has raised more than $10m.

The figure far exceeded the original estimate of $5m to $7m, according to the auction's organiser's Sotheby's.

Proceeds from the sale are going to PAX, a New York-based group that promotes gun safety, and to the National Center for Victims of Crime, in Arlington, Virginia.

Most of the 600 items in the three-day auction came from the designer's Miami Beach mansion, Casa Casuarina.

Designer creation
Auction included designer's own creations
They ranged from 19th-century paintings to the designer's own creations such as a brightly coloured outfit featuring Hollywood icons Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.

The most expensive item was a painting by Antoine Dubost called Le Retour d'Helene.

It fetched $236,750, far surpassing the $150,000 pre-sale high estimate and setting a record for the artist.

Collectors from around the world attended the auction and thousands of people came to see the pre-sale exhibition in New York's Manhattan.

"People have an opportunity to see how Versace lived and what he surrounded himself with, and that generates excitement and creates a lot of new collectors," said Benjamin Doller from Sotheby's.

Gianni Versace was gunned down on the steps of his Miami mansion in 1997 by serial killer Andrew Cunanan.

The murderer later killed himself after a nationwide police manhunt.

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See also:

12 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Versace art for sale
13 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Madonna eyes Versace spring look
10 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Royal follower of fashion
09 Dec 97 | World
Fashion's tribute to Versace
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