'Gem of a painting' top-seller at Miss World charity auction

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A painting brought by the Vietnamese contestant fetched the highest price of nearly US$30,000 at a charity auction organized Saturday during Miss World 2010 contest in Shanghai.


"Pho co Hanoi" (Hanoi Old Quarter) fetched 200,000 Yuan. The 90x100 centimeter painting was made with many gemstones including ruby, sapphire, quartz and topaz.


"The money went beyond my expectations," said Kieu Khanh, the Vietnamese beauty at the contest.


Khanh also received compliments for her ao dai embroidered with an image of the Sword Lake, the heart of Hanoi.


By choosing an Hanoi Old Quarter painting for the bidding and wearing the ao dai, Khanh said she wanted to show her feelings for Hanoi as a Vietnamese citizen celebrating the capital's millennial anniversary.


The auction raised a total of $264,542 from jeweled necklaces, oil paintings, exotic carvings, stunning glass and silver works, and tickets to a major golfing tournament brought by 120 contestants. The money will be donated to the flood-stricken island of Hai Nan in China.


The Miss World website had until Sunday morning maintained that the top-seller of the night was a necklace donated by the Venezuelan contestant.


Entertainment group Elite Vietnam, who sent Kieu Khanh to the contest, it was a mistake as the items donated by Vietnam and Venezuela's contestants were shown for bidding at the same time. Miss World organizers have promised to fix the error, the group said.


Kieu Khanh was first runner up at Miss Vietnam World 2010, where she won the Beach Beauty title.

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