Bristol University Buys a Gromit!

21/10/2013 13:31 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 23:58 GMT

The University of Bristol won its very own Gromit, known as 'Bark at Ee', at the extremely popular Gromit Unleashed auction.

A total of 80 Gromit statues were auctioned, raising a staggering 2.3 million pounds for the Bristol Children's Hospice at the Mall's outdoor pavilion which was transformed into an auction room for the evening with 500 Bristol-based guests were invited to the event.

Over the summer Bark at Ee was the red and white Gromit located on Queens Square. Photographed by thousands of Gromit spotters, it will be put back on display for students, staff and members of the public to enjoy once more, although the location of 'Bark at Ee' is yet to be decided.

The 5ft Gromit was designed by Leigh Flurry, who is a designer and an illustrator based in Bristol. The close association that Leigh has to the city meant that this Gromit was top of Bristol University's wanted list at the auction.

Professor David Clarke, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University commented, 'We had our eye on Bark at Ee before the auction due to his local connections and we feel he should remain in the city'.

The auction of the Gromits was viewed by a 17,000 strong online audience as it was streamed live online. The University of Bristol successfully secured the 'Bark at Ee' statue for a price of £20,000. Various bidders from around the world purchased the Gromits at the auction, which was presided over by Tim Wonnacott of Bargain Hunt fame.

The auction fetched over double the anticipated amount of money, and will be of huge benefit to the local children's hospital here in Bristol.

Whilst Bristol University spent £20,000 on their Gromit, 'Bark at Ee' was not the most expensive one at the auction. That accolade went to GromitLightyear, designed by Pixar Studios and fetched £65,000 at auction.

'Bark at Ee' will accompany Bristol's 'Going Going Gone' gorilla which was purchased in 2011 to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Bristol Zoo, and is currently located in the ASS library.

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