DNA sculptures raise £250,000 at auction to help fund biomedical research centre

Cancer Research UK
The DNA inspired Ai Weiwei sculpture, auctioned to raise funds for the Francis Crick Institute.

DNA-inspired sculptures created by world renowned artists and designers, including Ai Weiwei, Zaha Hadid, Benjamin Shine and Jane Morgan, raised £250,000 at auction last night as part of Cancer Research UK’s campaign to raise money for the Francis Crick Institute.

"We are fundraising, not just for an incredible building, but for humanity; the Crick will deliver research into the diseases that pose the greatest threat to all humanity and it will have global impact." - Andrew Pisker

The two sculptures by Ai Weiwei were bought for a total of £62,000 at leading auction house Christie’s last night.

The sculptures were installed across London over the summer as part of the Cancer Research UK’s ‘What’s in your DNA?’ art trail, appearing at some of London’s most iconic locations such as Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Andrew Pisker, chairman of Cancer Research UK’s double helix art installation said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have raised £250,000 at the Christie’s live auction. We are fundraising, not just for an incredible building, but for humanity; the Crick will deliver research into the diseases that pose the greatest threat to all humanity and it will have global impact.”

Eleven other sculptures were auctioned on the night from Cancer Research UK’s DNA Trail.

Another nine sculptures as well as other donated items, including a ‘portrait’ of Francis Crick’s DNA are being auctioned online by Christie’s with bidding closing on 13 October. 

The money raised by the auction will go towards the £100million that Cancer Research UK has pledged to raise to fund the construction of the Crick, a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation due to open in 2016.

When it opens, the Crick will see more than 1,200 scientists coming together under one roof to accelerate the rate of progress in tackling the major diseases, such as cancer, facing the global population. It is a visionary collaboration between six of the world’s leading medical research organisations: Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust, Imperial College London, King’s College London and UCL (University College London).

Francis Crick was one of the people to discover the DNA double helix, alongside James Watson and Maurice Wilkins, and based on the work of Rosalind Franklin.  It is thought to be one of the most significant discoveries in modern science and has transformed our understanding of the human body and disease.  Crick was noted for his intelligence, openness to new ideas and collaborations with scientists working in different fields of expertise which are founding principles for the institute.

To bid in the online auction, please visit: www.christies.com/DNA, or for more information about Cancer Research UK’s campaign to raise money for the Francis Crick Institute, visit www.cruk.org/crick

ENDS

For further information, please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 0203 469 8315 or, out of hours, on 07050 264 059.

Notes to Editor

Live auction – 30th September 

  1. Ted Baker
  2. Guy Portelli
  3. Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar
  4. Jane Morgan
  5. Michael Howells
  6. Ross Brawn
  7. Ai Weiwei
  8. Benjamin Shine
  9. Darren Baker
  10. Ai Weiwei
  11. Pilar Einrich
  12. Orla Kiely
  13. Zaha Hadid

Online Auction - 30 September – 13 October 2015 at www.christies.com/DNA 

  1. Andrew Logan – DNA sculpture
  2. Leyla Aliyeva – DNA sculpture
  3. Nick Gentry  – DNA sculpture
  4. Chris and Xand van Tulleken – DNA sculpture 
  5. Thierry Noir – DNA sculpture
  6. Tim Ashley  – DNA sculpture
  7. Cllr Robert Davies MBE DL – DNA sculpture
  8. Aston Martin  – DNA sculpture
  9. Kindra Crick – DNA sculpture  
  10. Crick’s Human Genome Portrait – an exclusive print on aluminium of Francis Crick’s DNA
  11. Ed Ruscha – Signed print 
  12. Edmund de Waal – Ceramic

Tags