NEW YORK: A painted portrait of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, fetched $102,500 at auction yesterday in New York -- with the money going to female education in Nigeria.
The proceeds will be donated from her Malala Fund to a special fund designed to assist local NGOs working to educate girls and women in Nigeria, where more than 200 schoolgirls are missing after being snatched at gun point last month by extremists.
Auction house Christie’s had estimated the portrait of the veiled teenager -- done in 2013 by leading British artist Jonathan Yeo -- would fetch $60,000-$80,000.
But after several bids it was snapped up in just a few minutes at a higher price.
Malala Yousafza is an education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
She is known for her activism for rights to education and for women, especially in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school.
In early 2009, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for 22 girls.
Malala, now 16, was shot by a Taliban gunman in 2012 over her outspoken views on education for girls in her home region of northwest Pakistan. After undergoing extensive medical treatment, she now lives in Britain. AFP