Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion to Save Tyre’s mil­lion euro raffle

Exhibited by
Sue Kershaw, development director, SOFII.
April 15, 2014
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Culture and heritage.
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
April, 2013.

SOFII’s view

Passengers at airport departure lounges will most likely have seen those high-end cars being raffled - with some pretty high-end price tags for the tickets. The IAST have had the courage to adapt the idea for themselves by borrowing €1 million to raise €5 million. SOFII is looking forward to hearing whether they succeeded.

Creator / originator

International Association to Save Tyre

Summary / objectives

To raise €5 million by raffling a painting by Picasso. The money will be used to finance arts and cultural projects in the city of Tyre, founded in 2750 BC, where many ancient structures were badly damaged during the Lebanese civil war.


Pablo Picasso’s masterpieces can fetch millions. On 18 December 2013, however, one lucky art lover took possession of an original work – conservatively valued at €1m (£845,000, over $1,000,000) – for a comparatively modest outlay of €100.

L'Homme au Gibus (Man with Opera Hat), a gouache on paper work measuring 30.5 cm by 24 cm, was raffled at the Sotheby’s auction house in Paris. It is the first time a work by a major painter has been offered in such a way.

The International Association to Save Tyre (IAST), is a nonprofit organisation accredited by UNESCO since 1983 and they certainly have courage as the painting wasn’t a donation, they actually borrowed about €1 m from a bank to buy it. Tickets cost €100 and they aimed to sell 50,000.

Olivier Picasso, the artist’s grandson, and Péri Cochin, a French journalist of Iraqi and Lebanese descent, came up with the idea as an alternative to another fundraising gala dinner and to create wider international interest.

He said his grandfather, who died in 1973, would have approved. ‘He would have been amused to participate in an event like this.’

Picasso, 52, who works as a French TV producer and art consultant to the Picasso family foundation, said the estate was waiving its usual fees for the sale of Picasso artworks.

Special characteristics

A collector of modern art tried to buy about 10,000 tickets, but the online stystem rejected him. According to the project coordinator, Reem Chalabi, no one could buy more than 50 tickets as it would have been unfair. If someone had bought 20 per cent of the tickets it would make the chances of winning uneven.


€1 million loan from a bank.


The organisation aims to report the exact amount of money raised after an official audit.

The raffle was won by Jeffrey Gonano, aged 25, from Pennsylvania in the USA.


The International Association to Save Tyre is used to running gala events, but it still took tremendous courage to run this innovative campaign: the first of its kind by a nonprofit.

Scroll down to view this video on the left. Or click on the image above to see it in YouTube.
Click on the image to watch video in YouTube.
View original image
L’Homme au Gibou (Man in Opera Hat) – Pablo Picasso, 1914.
View original image
The ancient city of Tyre is one of the oldest on Earth.