From a Bonhams press release:
A Harley-Davidson motorcycle blessed with the signature of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and later received by Pope Francis, is to be sold for charity at Bonhams 5 February Paris Sale.
The motorcycle is to be offered as part of Bonhams Grand Palais auction, entered at no reserve, with an estimate of €15,000-25,000 (£11,700-19,600).
In a special countdown to Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary celebrations, two commemorative motorcycle petrol tanks were presented to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
These were signed, and returned to the motorcycle legends US headquarters where they were mounted to their respective motorcycles. Of these, one remains in the Harley-Davidson museum in Milwaukee, USA. The remaining motorcycle – the FLSTC 103 Heritage Softail Classic destined for Bonhams 2015 sale – lay waiting for a special ceremony where it would be presented to the Pope in front of tens-of thousands of Harley-Davidson riders at 2013s 110th anniversary celebration.
However, in an unforeseen change to the papacy, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI abdicated in January 2013. Subsequently this saw the Softail Classic presented to the newly inaugurated Pope, his holiness Pope Francis.
“It’s an honour to have been selected to sell this fantastic machine. We expect a lot of interest, and hope to raise some spirited bidding for the very worthy charity selected,” said Ben Walker, International Director for Bonhams Motorcycle Department.
“In February 2014, Bonhams sold 1,585cc Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide signed by His Holiness Pope Francis. Now we’re delighted to offer a motorcycle received by both Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI; it was present during a pivotal period in the papacy of the Catholic Church, and we expect a lot of interest in it.”
Entered at no reserve, this unique motorcycle will have its auction proceeds donated to Stowarzyszenie Przyjazny Świat Dziecka (Friendly World Association), a Polish volunteer, independent, non-profit organization that offers care and support to children and families in need.
The Harley-Davidson will be sold on 5 February 2015 as part of Bonhams’ Les Grandes Marques du Monde sale at the Grand Palais in Paris.