Pope’s Harley up for auction

Proceeds to go to Rome hostel for the homeless

A Harley-Davidson presented to Pope Francis last June is up for auction in Paris on 6 February in a bid to raise funds for a Rome soup kitchen charity.

The 1,585cc Harley Dyna Super Glide model was given to Pope Francis by Harley-Davidson on the occasion of the American brand's 110th anniversary celebrations in Rome last June.

The motorbike has been blessed and autographed by the pontiff who signed “Francesco” on the tank. Bonhams auction house expects the bike to reach up to €15,000 in its Les Grandes Marques du Monde auction at the Grand Palais in Paris.

The motorbike is being sold on behalf of the Roman Catholic charity Caritas which will use the funds raised to refurbish its Don Luigi di Liegro soup kitchen and hostel at Rome's Termini railway station. The facility is used by around 1,000 homeless and poor people every day.

Bonhams is also selling the Harley-Davidson 110th anniversary leather motorcycle jacket, size XL, presented to Pope Francis. It too has been autographed.

Around 35,000 Harley Davidson bikers descended on Rome last June for a four-day festival which ended with a "Blessing of the Motorbikes" by the pope.