Mon, Jun 29, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Fans of slain Dutch politician snap up auction memorabilia

AFP , THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS

The butt of a cigarette far-right Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn smoked moments before he was gunned down in 2002 fetched 850 euros (US$1,200) on auction on Saturday, the auction house said.

Fortuyn had stubbed out the hand-rolled cigarette in an ashtray next to his bed as he left home hours before his assassination.

The auction of the populist politician’s personal effects fetched a total of 496,000 euros seven years after he was shot in a street, auctioneer Richard Hessink said.

A painting of Fortuyn and his two dogs, Carla and Kenneth, fetched the highest price for a single item at 41,000 euros, while the lighter Fortuyn had in his pocket when shot was sold for 9,400 euros.

LIBRARY

His library containing some 7,000 books was sold for 35,000 euros to the city of Rotterdam for its library, Hessink said.

“It was one of our finest auctions. We sold every last item,” he said.

Other items included Fortuyn’s pens, glasses, cellphone, photographs, furniture, bicycle, books and wine collection. Even a pair of slippers and half-used toiletries were sold.

MURDER

The flamboyant and openly gay Fortuyn was shot five times at close range by an animal rights activist in the central town of Hilversum 10 days before general elections in which his far-right party made sweeping gains.

Hessink said about 650 people attended the 11-hour auction and another 450 bid online.

Fortuyn’s house is to be sold through a property broker despite objections by a foundation that lobbied the Rotterdam city council to turn it into a museum.

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