A PAINTING of one of the world's most iconic buildings is being auctioned to raise money to rescue animals hit by the devastating fires in Australia..

The Building of Sydney Opera House by Robert Emerson Curtis is expected to raise up to £600 when it is sold through Tennants Auctions in Leyburn on March 29.

The money will go to help WIRES, the Australian Wildlife Rescue Operation which is working to look after animals injured during the horrendous firestorms which have swept through the country.

It's been donated by Professor Paul Cook, a scientific advisor who was responsible for the design and development of many laser systems used in medicine and the military throughout the world. Professor Cook founded the British Scientific and Technology Trust raising over £1m through his organisation the ‘Treasures of Science Auction’ to provide medicines for children in Russia in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster.

Robert Emerson Curtis was the official artist for the construction of Australia's two most famous buildings, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. WIRES estimate up to a billion animals have been killed or affected by the fires, with large areas of habitat destroyed causing food and water shortages.