THE Pope’s autographed Harley-Davidson is to go on auction in Paris next month in a bid to raise funds for a Rome soup kitchen charity.
The American brand presented Pope Francis with the 1,585cc Harley Dyna Super Glide last June to mark its 110th anniversary – and he signed it “Francesco” on the tank.
Originally priced at €20,000, the bike will be sold by Bonhams auction house at its Les Grandes Marques du Monde auction in the Grand Palais, Paris on February 6 on behalf of the Catholic charity Caritas Roma.
The charity will use the funds raised to renovate its Don Luigi di Liegro soup kitchen and hostel at the Termini railway station in Rome. Around 1,000 people a day use the soup kitchen and hostel.
The bike, one of two presented to the pope, is expected by Bonhams to fetch up to €15,000 in the auction – although as it is signed by the pope and blessed by him it could fetch considerably more.
Also being sold is the Harley-Davidson 110th anniversary leather motorcycle jacket, size XL, that was also presented to Pope Francis. It is also autographed.
Bonhams head of motorcycles, Ben Walker, 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.”