Helen Clark portrait saved from rubbish tip fetches $1840 on Trade Me

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1 NEWS

A portrait of former prime minister Helen Clark which was rescued from a Wellington rubbish tip has sold on Trade Me for $1840. 

The former prime minister tweeted she hoped the proceeds would go to a cause like the Women's Refuge.
Source: 1 NEWS

The 2.4m portrait was found by a worker at the Southern Landfill in Wellington earlier this month and it was brought to the tip's Second Treasures shop.

Auckland businessman Joe Chen, an immigrant from China, was the highest bidder on Trade Me.

Mr Chen, 35, says he saw the auction by accident online and "decided to give it a go".

He said he moved to New Zealand from China in 2002 and became fond of Helen Clark who was the Prime Minister at the time.

"She had a good influence on me," he told 1 NEWS.

"I saw her talk to people in the street and I could see that she was a nice person and really easy going."

He says he's going to display the piece of art in his mobile repair shop in Mt Roskill.

“I want to start my own small gallery to put up in my shop," he said, adding his newly-acquired Helen Clark portrait will be the first item in the gallery.

Mr Chen is flying to Wellington on Anzac Day to pick up the painting, taking his wife, young child, baby, and two friends with him on the trip.

Wellington City Council resource recovery manager Roderick Boys said the worker initially plucked the portrait out of the landfill because he thought the wood it was painted on could be worth something.

"We saw it and went, actually it's quite good artwork, so thought we'd list it on Trade Me," Mr Boys said after the discovery.

Helen Clark has been aware of the painting's auction and  tweeted asking for the profits to be donated to "a good cause like Women's Refuge".

Mr Boys said Second Treasures were happy to donate the money.

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