• Support Already Pledged by Leaders in Music, Film, Art & Design, Public Affairs & More:
  • Sting, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sacha Baron Cohen, Sir Patrick Stewart, The Strokes, Madeleine Albright, Jacques Grange, Sir Paul Smith, & the People (Real and Fictional) Behind Downton Abbey
  • Mayday Online Auction Will Take Place 1 - 8 May, and Support the IRC's Efforts to Combat COVID-19 in Vulnerable Communities

In this time of separation and social-distancing, Sotheby’s and Google are coming together virtually to raise much-needed funds for the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) work to help mitigate and respond to the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities. Together with leading figures from all walks of culture, business, politics and science, Sotheby’s and Google will launch an online auction of unique experiences which can be enjoyed virtually via Google Meet video calls during this period of social-distancing. From intimate conversations and ‘virtual’ drinks to lessons and tutorials, all of the experiences will be offered without reserve in an online auction open for bidding from 1-8 May 2020. The winning bidders will have the option to share their experience with front-lines workers and others who have been directly impacted by COVID-19 and the social-distancing rules put in place.

The list of experiences continues to grow, but already includes commitments from leading names in music, film, public affairs, art & design and science, among others.

Among them are:

Charles F. Stewart, CEO of Sotheby’s said: “We are proud to contribute to pandemic relief at this extraordinary time.  Many of our clients around the world have enquired about supporting Covid-19 relief efforts and, with the partnership of Google and so many leading figures who have pledged to support this unique auction event of virtual experiences, we are looking forward to supporting the efforts of the International Rescue Committee.”

David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee said: “As a global community we are only as strong as the weakest link in the chain and millions of refugees and displaced people are now facing a double emergency with the virus reaching their communities. With those most vulnerable in need of all the help that we can give, we would like to thank Sotheby’s, Google and all the luminaries who have agreed to participate and donate their time for this auction in support of IRC’s front-line efforts to help stop the spread of Covid-19 in vulnerable communities across the US and Europe.”

Javier Soltero, G Suite vice president and general manager for Google,said: "With COVID-19 impacting the way we live, work, learn and socialize, the need for secure video meetings to foster human connection has never been greater. We're honored to join Sotheby's and the leading figures involved with this auction to provide a secure, easy and accessible way to connect and creatively support each other throughout these times."

Follow the conversation on social media using #MayDayForCovid

Notes to Editors:

More on the IRC’s response to Covid-19: From distributing meals in New York City to translating public health guidance into numerous languages for refugee and migrant communities across Europe, the IRC response is built on years of experience in supporting people affected by conflict, crisis, and disaster in over 40 countries around the globe, and providing aid to the most vulnerable populations that are always impacted the hardest when a crisis happens. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.

Sotheby’s X Charity: In addition to having worked in the past with the IRC, Sotheby’s has also, over the years, joined forces with a number of leading charities, raising money for a variety of pressing causes, most notably with RED in the fight against AIDS, the J/P Haitian Relief Organization response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and more recently to support the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster in London.

Google/Google Meet: Google Meet provides premium video conferencing built on Google’s robust and secure global infrastructure. https://meet.google.com/