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International Art World Leaders Raised 1.215 Million EUR for Ukraine Humanitarian and Cultural Organisations during Venice Biennale

Benefit Initiative Continues through Online Auction of More than 40 Works Available through 8 May
Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (TBA21) and Mikolaj Sekutowicz (Ikona Collection) - Image Manuel Silvestri
Therme Art, through its initiative the Ikona Collection, together with TBA21 and the Brant Foundation co-hosted a special benefit event during the Venice Biennale, with proceeds dedicated to supporting pressing humanitarian needs in Ukraine, including cultural workers and resources. Raising a total of 1.215 million EUR, the dinner and live auction conducted by Simon de Pury took place on 21 April at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, Italy, drawing over 230 attendees. The event was held in celebration of Ukrainian culture, aligned under the mission to prevent the extinction of cultural identity targeted by genocide.

A speech by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, provided by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation was screened at the event, during which Zelenskyy noted: “There are no tyrannies that would not try to limit art. Because they can see the power of art.”
Natalia Gnatiuk, Anastasia Prymachenko, Masha Isserlis, Simon de Pury - Image by Daniele Venturelli
Gaïa Jacquet-Matisse, Ivy Getty and Peter Brant Jr. with Maria Prymachenko's auctioned work - Image Daniele Venturelli
The heirs of Maria Prymachenko, praised by the likes of Pablo Picasso and supported by this year’s curator of the 59th International Art Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia 2022 Cecilia Alemani, presented an artwork at auction, achieving new records for the Ukrainian artist, whose work sold for €110,000. New records were also achieved by Claudia Comte, whose 2017 work The Biggest Marble Donut sold for €60,000; and Ukrainian artist Alina Zamanova, whose 2022 work Day 31 of War sold for €35,000.
Building on these outstanding results, the benefit continues online through Sunday 8 May, with more than 40 additional works available from artists including Francis Alÿs, Matti Braun, Monica Bonvicini, Ernesto Neto, Urs Fischer, Nikita Kadan, Anish Kapoor, Zhanna Kadyrova, Rob Pruitt, Jose Dávila, Teresa Solar, Victor Sydorenko, and Marianne Vitale.
Scuola Grande di San Rocco - Image Daniele Venturelli 
Simon de Pury auctioning the works at the Benefit for Ukraine's People and Culture - Image by Daniele Venturelli
Organisers Mikolaj Sekutowicz (Ikona Collection), Peter Brant Jr. (Brant Foundation) and Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (TBA21) noted: “We have been overwhelmed by the incredible response from international arts leaders, philanthropists, collectors, and artists who came together to support the cultural heritage and contemporary creative community in Ukraine this week and have continued to donate to the online auction. We invite everyone to join in supporting these important organizations during this critical time for Ukraine’s people and culture.”
Recipient organisations include:
  • Maria Prymachenko Family Foundation
  • Appeal of Conscience Foundation
  • Museums for Ukraine
  • 100% Life
  • Museum Crisis Centre
  • Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund
  • Ukrainian Emergency Pavilion
Ikona Collection provides seed funding and production infrastructure to support artists in advancing their practices and the realization of new work. Chaired by Simon de Pury, Ikona has been building a lending library of late-20th and 21st-century art by emerging and pioneering artists who are engaging the most compelling ideas and issues of our times.

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