Twenty-eight paintings and artworks, including items donated by British artist Damien Hirst, went under the hammer for charity last week.

The auction in Paris made over US$6 million for AVEC – or Association pour la Vie et l’Espoir contre le Cancer (Association for Life and Hope Against Cancer) – a French cancer research organization.

Seventy-six percent of buyers were European; the rest were from the United States. No reserves were set on the artworks, which meant the final profits were over $1 million higher than expected.

“The market is not so high,” said Florence de Botton, Christie’s head of contemporary art in Paris. “This was a beautiful gift from everyone.”

Other artists to have work featured in the auction included Richard Serra and Jeff Koons.

Damien Hirst is well known for donating works to charity. In January he donated a painting to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, and in 2008 he helped raise over $40 million for Bono's (RED) in a Valentine’s Day art auction.

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