Murakami Art Auction Fetches $9 million for Quake Aid

A collection of contemporary artworks by Takashi Murakami and others fetched nearly $9 million (about ¥700 million) in a New York auction to raise funds for the victims of the March 11 disaster, Christie’s said Wednesday.

The 21 works were sold for a total of $8.76 million, far above the estimate of $5 million, it said, adding that proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Sasakawa Peace Foundation as well as two other organizations.

At the start of the auction, actor Ken Watanabe read a poem, "Ame ni mo Makezu" ("Undaunted by Rain"), by Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933), in English and Japanese. Miyazawa was a poet and author of children’s books from Iwate Prefecture, which was hit hard by the disaster.

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