Big picture: Bench marks

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Fifty unique 'BookBenches' designed by well-known artists and illustrators and inspired by books, including children's classics Peter Pan, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Lauren Child's Clarice Bean stories, have raised more than £250,000 at auction for the National Literacy Trust.

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The Jeeves and Wooster bench painted by Gordon Allum achieved the highest sale at £9,500. The proceeds will help the trust to run literacy projects for disadvantaged children.

Speaking after the auction at the Southbank Centre, children's laureate Malorie Blackman, who had a BookBench based on her novel Noughts and Crosses, said, 'The benches are truly remarkable - they are a reminder of the many ways books can inspire us. Reading liberates your potential, it liberates life.'

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