MONTEVIDEO – An iPad used by Pope Francis and donated to a Christian educational institution in Uruguay fetched $30,500 at auction in Montevideo.
The buyer, an Argentine businessman who preferred not to be identified, participated in Tuesday’s auction by telephone.
The directors of the Liceo Francisco in Paysandu district had hoped to raise $40,000 at auction, money that would be used to support 50 students from vulnerable backgrounds.
“We were playing around with the imagination and rather fanciful figures because we had no idea what could be raised, but we are very happy, it was a gift from heaven,” said director Monica Olivelli.
The auction house in Montevideo was full on Tuesday, but the two main bidders for the papal iPad participated via phone, opening bids at $20,000.
The iPad was gifted by Pope Francis to Uruguayan priest Gonzalo Aemilius during a visit to the Vatican in 2013.
Aemilius in turn gifted it to the school in Paysandu.
According to the Castells auction house, the device functions normally and has the inscriptions “His Holiness Francisco” and “the Vatican Internet Service” engraved on it.