Leonardo DiCaprio Donates Banksy To Charity and Raises $1 Million for AIDS Research

DiCaprio's Banksy, a Jeff Koons and a Warhol Liz all went to the block.

Leonardo DiCaprio at the amfAR charity auction. Photo: Kevin Tachman via WireImage

An artwork by mysterious British street artist Banksy, donated by film star and philanthropist Leonardo DiCaprio, raised a million bucks at an auction to raise money for AIDS research Thursday night, the Daily Mail reports.

The stars were out in force at the 22nd Cinema Against AIDS Gala on Thursday night, held at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cannes, France, and organized by amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

Global News reported that DiCaprio also donated a ticket to a charity gala for his eponymous environmental preservation foundation, based in St. Tropez, which included a private dinner with the star. That sold for $280,000. (See Billionaire Buys $1 Million Picasso Sketch at Leonardo DiCaprio Gala.)

DiCaprio, an art collector, regularly attends international art fairs and auctions (see Take a Look Inside Leonardo DiCaprio’s Growing Art Collection and Leonardo DiCaprio, Mike Myers Grace Celebrity VIP Frieze New York Preview).

While DiCaprio’s donation raised a substantial sum, the night’s highest price went to Jeff Koons, according to Sky News. Russian billionaire Leonard Blavatnik plunked down $12 million for an oversized Coloring Book sculpture that the artist donated from his “Celebration” series.

Eva Longoria, the former star of the hit TV show Desperate Housewives, also excitedly participated in the bidding. She spent $550,000 to take home a beautiful portrait of Elizabeth Taylor by Andy Warhol.

New York art dealer David Benrimon, who donated a Pablo Picasso sketch that raised $800,000 and a Fernando Botero sculpture that hammered at $2.2 million, reminded guests about the auction’s noble purpose.

“Elizabeth Taylor started the foundation,” he said, “and it’s saved millions of lives.”

Founded in 1983 and with offices in New York, Washington, D.C., and Bangkok, Thailand, amfAR has set the ambitious target of finding a cure for AIDS by 2020.

The auction raised a total of $33.4 million.

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