- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 28, 2007

2:22 p.m.

BISHNUPUR, India — A school in eastern India built with money raised in the auction of Audrey Hepburn’s iconic black dress was inaugurated today by French author and philanthropist Dominique Lapierre.

About 200 children will be able to attend the school in Bishnupur, a village nearly 30 miles south of Calcutta, the capital of the West Bengal state.

“I am very happy that my efforts are fructifying. Things are changing with more and more children going to school,” Mr. Lapierre told cheering students.

The school is one of the 15 to be built in India’s West Bengal state with $807,000 paid by a phone bidder for the dress, sold at Christie’s auction house in London in December.

Miss Hepburn wore the dress for her role as eccentric Manhattan socialite Holly Golightly in the 1961 film adaptation of Truman Capote’s novel “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” The movie’s opening scenes show her character wearing the dress as she emerges from a taxi with a brown-bag breakfast to gaze at diamonds and luxury goods in the storefront windows of Tiffany & Co. on Fifth Avenue.

Mr. Lapierre had received the dress as a gift from designer Hubert de Givenchy. Proceeds from the sale went to the City of Joy Foundation, run by Mr. Lapierre to help India’s poor.

Books by Mr. Lapierre include “The City of Joy,” set in Calcutta, and “Freedom at Midnight,” about India’s independence from Britain in 1947.

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