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Trudeau’s sketch up for auction for Winnipeg museum fundraiser

The Canadian Museum For Human Rights is shown in this undated sketch by Justin Trudeau.

Justin Trudeau/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A watercolour sketch drawn by Justin Trudeau months before he became prime minister is up for auction.

Trudeau drew the image of the Canadian Museum For Human Rights after visiting the Winnipeg building last spring.

Postcard prints of the image were given recently to Liberal party donors, and museum officials approached Trudeau about getting the original for a museum fundraiser.

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The framed and signed 41 centimetre-by-31-centimetre image is up for bids on eBay for 10 days.

A spokesperson for the museum's fundraising arm says the picture has been appraised at $2,000, but a bidding war would be welcomed.

The drawing depicts the museum, along with its glass tower, with trees and greenery in front.

"He was so inspired by what he saw (at the museum), he decided to go home and utilize his skills and do a watercolour sketch," Viv Draward of the Friends of The Canadian Museum For Human Rights said Friday.

Trudeau did not engage in any abstract art. The drawing is a straightforward representation of the museum as seen from the street.

It was enough to receive a thumbs-up from one critic.

"From a technical point of view it's at a professional level, although Trudeau has dodged the complexity that watercolour can present to the artist by cleverly isolating the colours from each other," David Silcox, art historian and former president of Sotheby's Canada, said in a press release from the museum's fundraising group.

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"The strength of the work is in the drawing, which is precise, controlled, and done with accurate and impressive perspective – not always easy to achieve."

The museum was the first national museum to be built outside of the Ottawa region. It was spearheaded by the late media mogul Izzy Asper and opened in 2014.

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