Lamborghini donated a glimmering white and gold sports car to Pope Francis yesterday, but it wasn’t trying to upgrade the Popemobile.
Instead, the luxury automaker and Pope Francis intend to auction the vehicle in order to fund organizations that combat human trafficking, provide counseling and support to sex workers, and help Christians who escaped ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Global Citizen campaigns on ending sexual violence and human trafficking, a mission that Pope Francis shares. You can take action here.
A typical Lamborghini Huracan — the car Pope Francis received — sells for more than $200,000 in the United States, but the custom model, with the pontiff’s signature on the hood, is expected to fetch a much higher price at auction.
The car’s white exterior with thin gold racing stripes honors the flag of Vatican City, the world headquarters of the Roman Catholic church, Lamborghini said in a statement.
For decades, Pope Francis — formerly a Jesuit priest in Argentina — has embraced a modest lifestyle, even foregoing the Papal Mansion in favor of a small apartment next door. So the modest pope standing next to an exotic sports car seems a striking contrast, but this isn’t the first time he has donated a luxury items to raise money for charity.
In 2014, a Harley Davidson motorcycle signed by the pope sold for more than $320,000 at auction — nearly 15 times the highest estimated price of $22,000. A matching leather jacket, also bearing Pope Francis’ signature, sold for more than $75,000. The money from both auctions funded a soup kitchen and hostel inside Rome’s Termini train station.