Pope's Harley Davidson to be sold at auction

Published 14 January 2014  |  
(Photo: ©L'Osservatore Romano)
Funds raised from the sale will go to Caritas Roma

The Pope's motorcycle is to go on sale as part of Rétromobile week at the Bonhams Paris sale this February.

He was originally given the 1,585cc Dyna Super Glide bike in June 2013 to mark the 110th anniversary of Harley-Davidson, but is better known for riding around in a 30-year-old Renault 4 after famously eschewing the more comfortable 'Popemobile' – a Mercedes-Benz.

The motorbike, which is signed by his Holiness, is expected to be sold for around €12,000-15,000 which will be donated to Caritas Roma, a charity that works on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.

More specifically, the cash will help fund renovations of the Don Luigi di Liegro hostel and soup kitchen based in Rome's Termini railway station.

The hostel opened 30 years ago with the aim of supporting some of Rome's most vulnerable citizens, and currently provides more than 1,000 people with food and accommodation every day.

The director of the Caritas of Rome Diocese, Msgr Enrico Feroci commented of the sale: "It's a precious gift which has made us happy once again, made us feel the closeness of our Bishop [the Pope] to the poor of the Church of Rome".

Pope Francis has made headlines for his acts of humility and efforts to rid the Vatican of corruption.

The so-called 'Bishop of Bling', Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, was recently suspended after spending around £26 million on renovations to his official residence.

The Telegraph reports that in June, the Pope warned a group of future priests and nuns to be careful how they spend their money, telling them, "It hurts my heart when I see a priest with the latest model car."

Ben Walker, head of motorcycles at Bonhams, said: "We are incredibly honoured to be selling this item on behalf of Caritas Roma.

"We hope to be able to do both Pope Francis and Harley Davidson proud by raising a significant amount of money for a very worthy cause."

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