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Cantona's Rolls Royce raises €125,000

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Eric Cantona's 1984 Rolls Royce Corniche, transformed by Paris-based artist JonOne. Photo: Artcurial
20:10 CET+01:00
Eric Cantona, the legendary Manchester United footballer turned actor, raised €125,000 for a housing charity on Tuesday, when his customized Rolls Royce went under the hammer at an auction in Paris.

Armelle Maquin, a spokeswoman for the Artcurial auction house and gallery which hosted the sale, told The Local that a 'French collector', who wanted to keep his identity private, had bought the 1984 Rolls-Royce Corniche for more than six times the starting price of 20,000 euros.  

"It was just magnificent," said a Maquin. "We're so happy with today's results."

Most vintage car-owners would be horrified at the mere sight of a can of spray paint in the vicinity of their pride and joy but last November, the iconic 46-year-old former French footballer Eric "The King" Cantona did the unthinkable by inviting world-famous New York street-artist 'JonOne' to cover his Rolls-Royce in graffiti. 

With the luxury model thoroughly tagged by the Paris-based artist, whose real name is John Perello, Cantona handed the vehicle over to the 'Fondation Abbe Pierre,' a French housing charity which counts the retired footballer among its celebrity patrons. 

The reborn work of modern art had been on display at Artcurial near the Champs Elysée before being auctioned on Tuesday afternoon, along with other contemporary urban artworks.

Prior to the auction Maquin told The Local that "the interest surrounding the car is due to who it came from, the fact that JonOne has made it into a work of art, but also, of course, because of interest in helping the homeless.”

In an interview with French weekly Voici, Cantona, for his part, said: "It's the ultimate symbol of wealth, and now it's been associated with a symbol of poverty, by a true street artist."

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