Bare Bruni proceeds go to water projects

A nude picture of France's first lady by Swiss photographer Michel Comte has been auctioned for $91,000 (SFr91,650) - about 30 times the expected amount.

This content was published on April 11, 2008 minutes

The money from the sale of the black-and-white photo of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy – wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy - will go to Swiss charity Sodis, which promotes clean water techniques for developing nations.

The picture, taken in 1993 when Bruni was one of the world's most sought-after models, was sold in New York on Thursday to a buyer for a Chinese collector, according to Christie's auction house.

It was part of a selection of photographs auctioned by collector Gert Elfering that also included nude photos of models Lauren Hutton, Gisele Bündchen and Kate Moss.

Swiss doctor Beat Richner, who heads a Cambodian charity that runs children's hospitals, had rejected an offer of the proceeds. He said he took his decision concerning the photograph "out of respect for the French and Cambodian governments".

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