|This photograph showing an aerial view of the Tobolsk Kremlin was taken by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev; it sold at auction for $1.7 million on Jan. 15, 2010. [Credit: AFP]|
ST. PETERSBURG — The third and current Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was among the noteworthy contributors to an annual benefit auction held Saturday evening in Saint Petersburg. A 27"x38" black-and-white photograph taken by the Russian leader fetched $1.7 million for charity. The funds will be distributed amongst a children's hospital, an alcoholism rehab center and an assistance program for WWII veterans.
The bid winner was Mikhail Zingarevich, a board-member of the wood and paper company Ilim, where Medvedev worked as legal affairs director in the 1990s. Medvedev's photography "is very professional and really pleases me," Zingarevich told the AFP.
The photograph shows an aerial view of the Kremlin, or fortress, captured by Medvedev during a helicopter ride over Tobolsk, an ancient city in western Siberia. A painting by his predecessor Prime Minister Vladimir Putin commanded $1.2 million at auction last year.