Friday, February 09, 2007

Auctioning on Empty

Promo'Arts is having an auction of paintings in aid of cancer research in May and we are hard at it organising this event.

It seems we'll have our work cut out actually raising any money, however. Montpellier is apparently known nationally for the propensity of folk to go to charity events, take advantage of the hard work and efforts of sponsors and organisers by gobbling up every last crumb, downing every last drop of drink and going home without spending the least Euro cent. Advice given to us was 'Give them as little as possible to eat and drink'.

It seems that the definition of the word 'charity' has not quite penetrated. People regard such evenings as a free dinner, albeit a light dinner, but dinner quand même. They go, they drink, they eat, they look at pretty things, and go home happier because their wallets are in the same state they were, and yet they've been out for the evening.

DRK put up a painting to be auctioned for a charitable cause (can't remember which) and during the sale, the auctioneer removed it saying that he was not going to let such a good work go for peanuts to a bunch of rats.

Should we even bother?! It's certainly causing quite a bit of anxiety, because one of Montpellier's best known local artists, Jean Leccia has donated three paintings; paintings which sell normally for thousands of euros. If the auction proves a flop, he'd be justified taking his paintings out of the sale too. Why enable stinginess?

What we really need is some American-style generosity. Maybe that's the stumbling block...


  1. It's nice to see a blogger who's firing on all cylinders !

  2. Hello there. Well except you, me and Colin, no one else seems interested in painting or charity works.

    Your article upon the new Promo 'Arts was super and the blog site a pleasure, but I see that no one commented.

    Its a hoot that those of Monpellier are known for beng absolute rats for giving out to others...and true. After a buffet tres tres tres at the Jardin des Sens....the folks invited ravished the glorious buffet....but had a job forking up a measly 100 euros here and there for some super estampes anciens!!!

    The Auctioneer was blue with rage...and he is the one who takes paintings out (actually before the sale for Diane's) when he considers that the parterre are ingrats trying to get expensive things for nothing and a good meal to boot!! But not give to hters.....ohhhhhhhh non!

  3. I don't know if the Montpelleriens (?) are less generous than in other areas in France - it's true that the French don't go in for the American style charity fund raising events - they do give money but it seems to be done discreatly. If you lay on food and drink, I would charge an entry fee which would also go to charity. Doesn't have to be much but stops the pique assiettes!

    I'm sure you know all this but get FR3 to do something - they are normally very good at that sort of thing and if they interview you with your charming accent (I imagine, like me, you have one) it will probably work well - makes a change from the usual rubbish one sees on the local news!

  4. Thank you Louise - every bit of good advice will help - and yours is really good. We will definitely charge a small fee for each glass of plonk - and get in touch with FR3...and yes I do have an accent - not very pronounced, but I could always push it a bit!!


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