16/11/2010 Patrice Motsepe Executive Chairman of ARM during his announcement of the fourth dividend payment and ditribution of funds to the beneficiaries of their BEE Trust held at Sandton JHB. (343) Photo: Leon Nicholas

South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepe paid $1 million (about R10.5m) for a Picasso drawing at Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio’s fundraiser to protect the environment and endangered species.

The star raised more than $25m at the charity event in France for his foundation. 

The fundraiser late on Wednesday in the chic Riviera seaside resort of Saint-Tropez included an auction of Hollywood and rock ’n’ roll memorabilia, and works by Damien Hirst and Pablo Picasso.

It included DiCaprio’s Harley Davidson motorbike bearing the signatures of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, and a guitar belonging to U2 frontman Bono.

DiCaprio told the 500 guests – who included stars ranging from US soap star Joan Collins to French actress Marion Cotillard – that animal and flora species were disappearing on a scale last seen when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Guests shelled out between $7 000 and $130 000 to attend the event.

A sculpture by British artist Damien Hirst was snapped up for $6m by Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik. – Sapa-AFP