Lionel Messi charity auction features art by Hirst and Murakami

Artworks by the likes of Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami featuring footballer Lionel Messi will go on sale in a charity auction held by Sotheby's in London on February 12.

Lionel Messi Murakami
Murakami has also designed the logo for the campaign

The paintings have been specially commissioned to raise funds for the 1in11 campaign, which sees Unicef, FC Barcelona Foundation and Reach Out to Asia team up to improve educational facilities for children in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal.

Barcelona and Argentina star Messi is the figurehead for the campaign, as well as a Unicef goodwill ambassador and winner of the Golden Boot award.

Damien Hirst has created Beautiful Messi Spin Painting for One in Eleven - estimated at £250,000-350,000 ($379,200-530,900), while Takashi Murakami has set the football star against one of his trademark cartoon-style backgrounds in a work titled Lionel Messi and a Universe of Flowers, valued at £200,000-300,000 ($303,360-455,040).

Also starring in the sale are works by Jeff Koons, Richard Serra and Shirin Neshat.

Lionel Messi commented: "I'm supporting the 1in11 campaign because I believe every child has the right to fulfil their potential and realise their dreams. Education is fundamental to this, but millions of children across the world are out of school and not getting the start in life they are entitled to."

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