New Routemaster bus sculpture auction brings down curtain on Year of the Bus celebrations.
More than 50 Year of the Bus sculptures were auctioned on (Tuesday 24 March) by Transport for London (TfL), raising £100,000 for three charities: Kids Company, Transaid and London Transport Museum. The New Routemaster sculptures proved as popular with bidders, both online and in the live auction, as they did with Londoners and visitors to the city when they were displayed on the streets last year.
Painted and adorned by well-known and aspiring artists, the sculptures first went on display in October 2014 on four walking trails across the Capital. All 60 were then brought together at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London for a final show before the search for their new owners began.
The bus sculptures were auctioned by international auctioneer Tom Best who has travelled extensively for charity auctions across the globe and has so far helped raise over £3.5 million for selected charities.
The New Routemaster sculptures, which are 2.5m long, 1m high and 0.5m wide, feature a wide variety of designs including ones based around iconic London landmarks such as Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace, artwork featuring the designs of Cath Kidston and Orla Kiely, and even one of the Queen's Guard complete with faux bearskin hat.
The most popular buses during the auction, each raising £3,500, were a design entitled Spectrum by Venezuelan artist Kristel Pillkahn and Tunnel Vision, a homage by designers One Red Shoe to Harry Beck's Tube map. Also popular were Punk'ed by artist Valerie Osment and the London Telephone Bus by Thomas Dowdeswell, which were each sold for £3,200.
Leon Daniels, TfL's Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: `The Year of the Bus sculptures captured people's imaginations and promoted the great work that London buses, bus drivers and the staff who support them do in keeping London moving. The auction was a great success too, giving people the opportunity to own a unique version of one of London's most recognisable icons and raising an excellent total for three worthwhile charities.
The live auction concluded TfL's celebrations to mark 2014's Year of the Bus, in partnership with London Transport Museum and the Capital's bus operators.'
The Year of the Bus was supported by and delivered in partnership with Exterion Media, Abellio, Arriva London, Clear Channel UK, Go-Ahead London, Metroline, RATP Dev UK, Stagecoach, Wrightbus, Optare and Telent Technology Services. The Year of the Bus sculptures were also supported by other sponsors, most notably Cubic Transportation System Ltd, who sponsored 10.
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