MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) – A single-engine aircraft that two Swedish PR executives used last year to drop hundreds of teddy bears with pro-democracy messages over Belarus was sold Tuesday at an eBay auction for $11,700, Euroradio reported.
The fully functioning French-made 1968 Jodel aircraft was put up for sale by its owner, Tomas Mazetti from PR firm Studio Total, on September 17 with the initial price of $1. Mazetti said in the lot description that the profit would go “to the fight for a free Belarus.”
On July 4, 2012, Mazetti and his colleague Hanna Lina Frey flew the plane illegally into Belarusian airspace and dropped about 800 teddy bears with messages emphasizing the lack of human rights in the former Soviet republic.
Belarusian officials initially denied that the incident had ever happened, but eventually admitted the infringement of Belarusian airspace.
The stunt infuriated Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who sacked the country’s air defense and border guard service chiefs over the incident.
It also led to a dispute between Belarus and Sweden, resulting in the expulsion of Swedish diplomats from Minsk and Belarus’ withdrawal of its embassy staff from Stockholm.
Only in spring this year did Belarus consent to allowing the Swedish charge d’affaires to come back to Minsk.
The Swedish Embassy in Belarus said September 17 that it was reopening, more than a year after the incident.
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