'Reagan blood' auction cancelled after US criticism

Ronald Reagan in an official White House picture 1981 It is claimed the blood was taken from President Reagan following an assassination attempt in 1981

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A vial said to contain a sample of the late US President Ronald Reagan's blood has been withdrawn from sale by an online auction house.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation had expressed outrage over the auction, in which bidding had reached over $30,000 (£19,000).

Guernsey-based PFC Auctions said in a statement that the vial would now be donated to the Reagan foundation.

The foundation said it was pleased the blood would stay "out of public hands".

PFC Auctions, based on Guernsey in the British Channel Islands, said in a statement that the seller they were representing had bought the blood at a public auction in the US in February 2012 for $3,500.

The seller had now agreed for the item to be withdrawn from sale and donated to the foundation in "a considerable financial gesture", it said.

Vial said to have contained Ronald Reagan's blood, with medical note The medical note attached to the vial said to contain Ronald Reagan's blood

According to the auctioneers, the seller is a "serious collector of presidential memorabilia" who did not think the Reagan foundation had any interest in the blood that he had bought.

The re-auction had "highlighted the importance of this historical artefact" the anonymous seller told them.

"I would personally be delighted to see this important artefact put on public display by the foundation", the seller said.

The lot included a letter of provenance from the original seller who said their late mother worked at the laboratory which carried out blood testing for George Washington University Hospital after Mr Reagan was shot in 1981 by John Hinckley.

Mr Reagan, who went on to serve two terms as president, died at the age of 93 in 2004.

Hinckley was found not guilty on the grounds of insanity and is being treated at a psychiatric hospital.

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