Cotswold Life - - INSIDER’S GUIDE - cirences­ter­march­harefes­ti­val.org.uk

AF­TER seven months on the road, the mag­nif­i­cent Cotswold hares will reach their fi­nal auc­tion des­ti­na­tion.

From March to Septem­ber, the 85 five-foot hare sculp­tures, lov­ingly dec­o­rated by artists from across the coun­try, have de­lighted tourists and lo­cals alike. On Oc­to­ber 6 peo­ple will be able to buy their very own slice of his­tory as the his­tor­i­cally-themed hares ar­rive in Chel­tenham for their big day, ac­com­pa­nied by a smaller num­ber of lev­erets.

The auc­tion at Chel­tenham Race­course has al­ready at­tracted over­seas in­ter­est from Ja­pan, Canada, USA and Aus­tralia. In order to fa­cil­i­tate bids from buy­ers who are un­able to at­tend a live auc­tion an on­line auc­tion has been set up on the web­site. This bid­ding will con­tinue un­til Oc­to­ber 6 when bids will go for­ward to the live event. TV pre­sen­ter Paul Martin who will host the auc­tion says, “We have some ab­so­lutely fabulous de­signs, in­clud­ing sev­eral from top-sell­ing artists, so I’ll be aim­ing high.” There is likely to be big in­ter­est in the mo­saic hares. “These were our top sell­ers last time,” says fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Florence Beetle­stone, “so fin­gers crossed they do equally well this year.” Net prof­its from the auc­tion will be split be­tween lo­cal char­ity Na­tional Star and sev­eral Cotswold mu­se­ums in keep­ing with the his­tor­i­cal theme. “We have a su­per char­ity in Na­tional Star whom we are de­lighted to sup­port; their ed­u­ca­tional work is in­spi­ra­tional. We also know that, with mu­se­ums strug­gling to sur­vive in an era of cul­tural fund­ing cut­backs, that even a small do­na­tion of a few £100 can make a huge dif­fer­ence.”

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