Bertie to star in fundraiser for attacked artist
FORMER taoiseach Bertie Ahern will be up to all sorts of monkey business tomorrow in the hope of raising thousands of euro for a worthy cause.
A fundraising art auction will take place in Adams Auctioneers in Dublin to raise money for Alexandra Trotsenko, the artist whose fingers were severely injured during a brutal burglary at her home.
All the money raised will go towards funding an operation to fit custom-made replacement prosthetic fingers on the Russian artist's hand.
While the former taoiseach won't be there in person, he's sure to be the unwitting star attraction as a painting of him surrounded by 'cabinet monkeys' is sure to prove a real head turner. The painting is one of 200 pieces on display.
"It's an amusing portrait of our former taoiseach with two monkeys. We don't know if they're meant to be his minister for finance and minister for communications talking about the IMF," explains Brian Greene from Adams Auctioneers, scarcely concealing his amusement.
"There's a chimp kissing him salaciously on the cheek and another guffawing. You could read so much into it. It was handed in but we don't know anything about the artist."
Alexandra's attacker, James Kenny, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the barbaric attack. After breaking into her apartment in Finglas, Dublin, he bound and gagged her, before chopping off her ring finger and little finger at the joints. Her middle and index finger were also partially amputated.
Doctors successfully reattached her middle finger but she lost the other finger portions.
Kenny had a previous conviction for assault and theft in 1998.
'Liveline's' Joe Duffy, a keen artist himself, donated a signed piece called 'Autumn Trees', which he painted in 2006.
"It's a roadway with rich autumn colours in a seasonal landscape, with oak trees to the left and right of a tarmac road," said Mr Greene. "It would be a nice painting in somebody's hallway. The painting is signed and we estimate it could fetch up to €200."
He said Alexandra's plight had attracted worldwide attention, with numerous international titles, such as the 'Guardian' newspaper, the London 'Times' and the 'International Herald Tribune', all covering the story.
Mr Greene continued: "All the pieces are gifted by artists and sculptors. We don't know exactly how much money will be raised as we don't know how much people will bid. With charity auctions, you don't know what the reaction will be.
"We also have no idea how many people will arrive on Sunday.
"I think a large number of people who normally wouldn't buy art will be here.
"All the artists have donated work for one reason only -- so that this brave woman can get a prosthetic limb. These gifts are from their heart, with her in mind."