Serge Gainsbourg snap is highlight of AFP photo auction

Paris (AFP) –


A photo of French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg burning a bank note during a 1984 television broadcast was the star lot of an auction Sunday of selected images from AFP's photo archives dating back decades.

The picture, which fetched 15,600 euros ($17,940), was one of 187 lots sold for a total of nearly 300,000 euros, AFP said.

The photo showing Gainsbourg's stunt protesting at high taxes had been valued at between 800 and 1,500 euros at the auction titled "The Analogue Years".

Gainsbourg burned the 500-franc bank note in protest at high taxes
Gainsbourg burned the 500-franc bank note in protest at high taxes PHILIPPE WOJAZER AFP/File

Another bidder paid 5,200 euros for AFP's photo of the body of Che Guevara after the death in Bolivia in 1967.

Agence France-Presse's first-ever photo auction put up for sale around 200 pictures from its analogue collection, with shots of the liberation of Paris, Martin Luther King as well as the Che Guevara snap.

Prints of daily life across five decades but also of war, sport and stars from the glitzy worlds of music, cinema, fashion and art also went under the hammer at a Parisian events space and online.

The photos date from 1944 up to 1998 when AFP started rolling out digital photography.

A shot of former president Jacques Chirac, then Paris mayor, jumping over a metro turnstile in 1980 sold for 6,500 euros.

Other less famous shots, underscoring the risks taken by AFP photographers on the ground, included an image of a mine exploding during the first Gulf War in 1991, which sold for 4,550 euros.

The agency's analogue collection includes around six million images snapped from 1944 to 1998.

The proceeds from the sale will be included in the company's turnover.