Lily Safra's jewels to be auctioned for charity

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Mrs. Lily Safra, "Jewels for Hope, The Collection of Mrs LiLy Safra"
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Mrs. Lily Safra, "Jewels for Hope, The Collection of Mrs LiLy Safra"

A rich collection of jewels belonging to billionaire socialite and philanthropist Lily Safra will be auctioned off for charity, auction house Christie's said Tuesday.

Christie's said in a statement that 20 charitable institutions will benefit from the sale of the collection, which is made up of 70 pieces.

The items are expected to fetch more than $20 million (15 million euros) when they are sold May 14 in Geneva.

Brazil-born Safra, who has Monaco citizenship, was married for the fourth time to billionaire Jewish-Lebanese banker Edmond Safra in 1976. He died in a fire at his Monte-Carlo penthouse in 1999.

The widowed Safra created a philanthropic foundation that supports hundreds of charities in 40 countries.

Forbes estimated her wealth at $1.2 billion as of March this year.

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