Hillary Clinton, Sting and Sacha Baron Cohen are among the famous faces offering prizes in a coronavirus relief auction to help the vulnerable during the pandemic.
Sotheby’s and Google have joined forces for the virtual auction, which will be held via Google Meet video calls in adherence to the current social distancing rules.
Money raised from the auction will be donated to the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) work to help mitigate and respond to the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities.
Winning bidders will have a chance to spend time with leading figures from all walks of culture, business, politics and science, with prizes including intimate conversations and “virtual” drinks to lessons and tutorials.
Other experiences include a Shakespearian acting lesson from Sir Patrick Stewart, a chance to hang out with actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and a conversation about music with The Strokes.
Downton Abbey fans will be pleased to hear that a virtual visit to the famed Highclere Castle, where the hit TV series was filmed, with writer and creator Julian Fellowes and actors Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, is also among the prizes.
Those interested in politics can have a chat with former UK foreign secretary David Miliband, while space fans can meet with Apollo 9 astronaut Russell Schweickart – the first spacewalker of the Apollo programme.
Sotheby’s chief executive Charles F Stewart said of the auction: “We are proud to contribute to pandemic relief at this extraordinary time.
“Many of our clients around the world have enquired about supporting COVID-19 relief efforts and, with the partnership of Google and so many leading figures who have pledged to support this unique auction event of virtual experiences, we are looking forward to supporting the efforts of the International Rescue Committee.”
Mr Milliband, who is president and chief executive of the IRC, added: “With those most vulnerable in need of all the help that we can give, we would like to thank Sotheby’s, Google and all the luminaries who have agreed to participate and donate their time for this auction in support of IRC’s front-line efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities across the US and Europe.”
The auction will run from 1-8 May.