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Saturday, 3 March, 2001, 15:13 GMT
Dome auction raises 3.5m
Millennium Dome auction
Some 1,200 people logged bids over the internet
Thousands of bargain hunters have spent nearly 3.5m on Millennium Dome memorabilia in a four-day auction of its contents.

Organisers' hopes of raising 5m from the sale were dashed when more than 1,000 high-tech items had to be withdrawn.

But auctioneers Henry Butcher said they were "thrilled" by the numbers who came to the auction and the total raised.

More than 5,000 people came in person to see the hammer fall on 15,000 items, a spokeswoman for the firm said.

Pulp singer's purchase

Of the 24,000 people who logged on to the internet to view an online catalogue, about 1,200 made a bid, spending an average of 1,900.

Among buyers keen for a piece of the infamous attraction was Jarvis Cocker, lead singer of Pulp.

He took home some over-sized chairs from the Play zone, though it is not known how much he spent.

The most expensive item in the sale was a projector which sold for 35,000.

Auction favourites
Giant hamster: 3,000
Engraved crystal dish: 1,700
Body Zone heart: 1,500
Body Zone brain: 1,150
English football fan: 900
Body Zone eye: 750
Half a Mini: 450

A wall panel from the Mind zone was the cheapest, going for a mere 5.

In all 3.483m was raised to put towards the Dome's debts.

It would have been more if technical equipment including display screens and broadcasting equipment were sold.

But the items were withdrawn from sale on the request of Legacy, the firm which hopes to turn the Dome into a hi-tech business park.

Other items such as the Timekeepers of the Millennium exhibition and the Home Planet zone were excluded from the auction following a request from former NMEC chief executive Pierre-Yves Gerbeau.

The 35-year-old Frenchman is involved in the bidding to keep the Dome open as a visitor attraction.

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See also:

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Dome hamster fetches 3,000
26 Feb 01 | UK Politics
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