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Leonardo DiCaprio, Christie's plan 'most important charity auction'

Auction ServiceLeonardo DiCaprioPetroleum IndustrySocial IssuesMexicoEnvironmental IssuesConservation

“The Great Gatsby’s” leading man, Leonardo DiCaprio, is using his current screen sway for environmental good -- again.

Together with Christie’s next week, DiCaprio will co-host “the most important environmental charity ever staged,” the auction house’s Brett Gorvy said in a statement.

The 11th Hour charity auction, to be held in New York Monday evening, will benefit environmental and wildlife conservation efforts supported by the now 15-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Thirty-three “top-tier” works by leading contemporary artists -- among them Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, Banksy, Elizabeth Peyton, Takashi Murakami and Raymond Pettibon -- will go up for auction, Christie’s said.

ART: Can you guess the high price?

Among the highlights: a work on fiberglass by Bharti Kher called "The Skin Speaks a Language Not Its Own”; an oil on canvas by Zeng Fanzhi, "The Tiger"; and an oil on cardboard mounted on canvas by Mark Grotjahn, "Untitled (Standard Lotus No. II, Bird of Paradise, Tiger Mouth Face 44.01).” 

The pre-sale estimate on each of the three works, reported Reuters, is $1.5 million to $2.5 million. The event aims to raise as much as $18 million.

“Despite the great efforts by organizations all over the world, our planet is in trouble,” DiCaprio said in a statement.

“The modern world is placing enormous pressure on the very natural systems that sustain us; we are destroying our forests, polluting the air and water, overfishing our oceans and facing overwhelming extinction rates of plants and animals.”

The actor personally donated one work, "Ocean V" by Andreas Gursky, to the cause.

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