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Anthony Bourdain’s Belongings Will Be Auctioned Off for Charity

by Elisabeth Sherman Sep 17, 2019

A cache of personal objects left behind by Anthony Bourdain, the host of the award-winning CNN travel and food show Parts Unknown, who passed away in June 2018 at the age of 61, will be auctioned off for charity in October.

According to The New York Times, the majority of the proceeds — around 60 percent — will go directly to his family: his wife, Ottavia Busia, from whom he was separated at the time of his death, and his daughter, Ariane. The rest will be donated to the Culinary Institute of America, to fund a study abroad scholarship. The new scholarship, which will bear Bourdain’s name, will allow the recipient to spend a semester abroad studying an international food-related topic of their choosing.

Though Bourdain’s personal assistant Laurie Woolever maintains that Bourdain became selective about trinkets and gifts he decided to accept (and keep) during his travels, the 215-piece collection is an impressive testament to his interests and hobbies — and also speaks to the long list of notable friends he kept close throughout his life.

Art by Ralph Steadman (best known as Hunter S. Thompson’s illustrator, companion, and collaborator, and a friend of Bourdain’s who was featured in the London episode of Parts Unknown), Bourdain’s chef’s knife, manuscripts of his own books, his personal records, writing desk, and paintings by John Lurie will all be included in the auction. Items of Bourdain’s clothing will even be available, including a US Navy bomber jacket. The total collection is estimated to be worth between $200,000 and $400,000.

The auction is being conducted by Lark Mason, a frequent guest on Antiques Roadshow. Though Mason didn’t know Bourdain, he told the Times that he thinks Bourdain’s simple possessions helped “ground him” in the midst of his “turbulent life.”

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