Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds loses bid to give 1950s robot Cygan a home

Image caption Cygan, a 1957 automaton, had a guide price of £8,000-£12,000

Leeds has lost out on its bid to buy a giant 1950s robot.

Cygan, an 8ft (2.4m) humanoid aluminium robot, has sold for £17,500 in an auction at Christie's in London.

The Playful Leeds project had hoped to buy Cygan and take it on a tour of the city during March of the Robots, its year-long celebration of all things robot-related, which starts in October.

The group had received pledges of more than £7,000 but was outbid. It thanked everyone who supported its bid.

Playful Leeds had given itself just 15 days to raise the £15,000 it believed would be enough to buy Cygan and give it a permanent home in Leeds.

It turned to crowd-funding, using the Spacehive website, which allows the cost of community projects to be met through online contributions.

Nearly 120 funders had pledged a total of £7,191.

Cygan was created by an Italian designer and inventor in 1957 to be a domestic helper and could crush cans with its fist and dance.

The bid had been backed by the University of Leeds and the city council, which said it was a "great initiative that epitomises the enterprising spirit of Leeds".

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