Auction of Communist Art Helps Red Sludge Victims

An auction of relics and artworks from Hungary's communist era has been held to raise funds for the victims of October's flood of toxic red sludge that killed 10 people and left hundreds injured and homeless.

Monday's sale at the Pinter Gallery in Budapest included around two dozen portraits of Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin, busts of Bulgarian communist leader Georgi Dimitrov, as well as paintings and drawings in the Socialist realism style exalting physical labor and the supposed friendship between Hungary and the Soviet Union.

The items going under the auctioneer's gavel were found in ministries and state warehouses. The most expensive item was a 1957 painting by Iraqi artist, Kadhim Haydar, selling for 1.6 million forints (euro5,700, $7,600).