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Holy hog: Pope selling Harley-Davidson for charity

Holy hog: Pope selling Harley-Davidson for charity

HOLY HOG: n this June 12, 2013 photo provided by the Vatican paper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis stands by a Harley-Davidson he was donated, at the Vatican. A 1,585cc Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide, donated to Pope Francis last year and signed by him on its tank, will be sold at auction in Paris to help raise funds for a soup kitchen and hostel for the homeless in Rome. Bonhams, noting in a statement Monday Francis' "preference for modest modes of transport," says it will also be auctioning off on Feb. 6 a Harley-Davidson 110th anniversary leather motorcycle jacket, size XL, donated to and signed by Francis. The auction sales will raise money for Caritas Roma, a Catholic charity based in Rome. Photo: Associated Press

PARIS (Reuters) – Signed “Francesco” on its tank, the 1,585 cc Harley Davidson Dyna Super Glide that will be auctioned for charity in Paris on Feb. 6 has an unusual owner – Pope Francis.

The pope will sell his Harley Davidson to raise funds for Caritas Roma, a charity working on behalf of the church, auctioneer Bonhams said on Monday.

The motorcycle was presented to the head of the Roman Catholic Church in June 2013 to mark the motorcycle brand’s 110th anniversary. It is not clear if the pope actually rode it.

“I suspect that it will (have) a very limited mileage,” said Ben Walker, head of motorcycles at Bonhams.

In line with his focus on the poor and his well-publicized preference for modest modes of transport – he used to take public transport as a cardinal in Buenos Aires – Pope Francis donated the motorcycle to Caritas.

The Harley Davidson will be auctioned at the Grand Palais in Paris as part of Bonham’s Les Grandes Marques du Monde sale.

With an estimated worth of around 12,000-15,000 euros ($16,400-$20,500), the motorcycle was signed on the tank by His Holiness at a special ceremony at the Vatican in November. A Harley Davidson leather jacket also signed by the pope will be sold immediately after the motorcycle.

The proceeds will go towards the renovation of the charity’s Don Luigi di Liegro hostel and soup kitchen, based in Rome’s central Termini rail station.

($1 = 0.7314 euros)

(Reporting By Julia Fioretti; Editing by Michael Roddy and Janet Lawrence)

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