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Aids charity photo auction marks Sir Elton John's 70th birthday

The 25 pictures mark 25 years of Sir Elton’s charity foundation.

A special sale is celebrating Sir Elton John’s 70th birthday by auctioning photographs in support of his Aids charity.

As the Elton John Aids Foundation also marks its 25th anniversary, Christie’s in New York will sell off pieces donated by artists and collectors worth up to 80,000 US dollars (£64,000) each.

“We started the Elton John Aids Foundation 25 years ago and it is wonderful to commemorate this year with an extraordinary group of photographs, donated so kindly by some of the greatest photographers in the world,” Sir Elton said.

“At EJAF, we are determined to end Aids by investing in people’s health, wellbeing, equality, and opportunity and by building the circumstances in which HIV and Aids recede into history.

“Over the past 25 years, we have witnessed progress but also daunting setbacks. So, we cannot let up.

“We hope all of the collectors participating in this sale will respond to the urgency of our work by bidding generously on these amazing photographs.”

The collection, which will go to auction on April 6, includes works by artists who died of Aids, with pieces dating up to 80 years ago.

Cindy Sherman’s colourful portrait shot Untitled is expected to fetch one of the highest amounts, while Herb Ritts’ black and white Backflip, Paradise Cove figure is estimated to go for up to 60,000 dollars.

Sir Elton continued: “Great artists, including Mapplethorpe and Herb, were lost to Aids.

“They died so young, and their loss was so tragic. Herb’s work means he’s still supporting our work even though he’s not with us.”

EJAF’s chairman David Furnish added: “You can’t work in photography and not be touched by someone who was affected by HIV/Aids.”

According to Christie’s international head of photographs, Darius Himes, the collection will also include pieces by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Irving Penn, Peter Hujar, Sally Mann, Paul Graham, Alec Soth, Alison Rossiter, Richard Learoyd, Todd Hido, Katy Grannan, and Ahmet Ertug.

Sir Elton turns 70 on Saturday.

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