Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Panthera Founder Sells Spitfire Mk1

The founder of Panthera, the global conservation group specializing in saving members of the genus Panthera, Dr. Thomas A. Kaplan, recently donated his family's restored Spitfire Mk1A for auction at Cristie's London. The historic aircraft sold for $4,784,010, a new record for any Spitfire sale. Spitfire #P9374/G was shot down over Calais beach during the evacuation of the British army in 1940. It remained buried in the beach until discovered in 1980. Only one of two fully restored Mk1As able to fly, the other was donated to the Duxford Imperial War Museum by Dr. Kaplan and his wife, Daphne. A significant amount of the sale price will be donated to the charity Dr. Kaplan founded in 2006 to change big cat conservation by using scientific data to create solutions to the threats facing their survival in the wild. A beautiful war machine's price may help save some of Earth's most beautiful creatures live into the 21st century.