Sweden’s Studio Total places ‘teddy bear drop’ plane on eBay

Tomas Mazetti, one of the Swedes who was aboard the plane during the stunt, wrote on his Facebook page that the money that Studio Total would receive for the plane would be spent on supporting democracy in Belarus.

Sweden’s advertising agency Studio Total plans to auction off the plane which its staff used to invade Belarus’ airspace in a pro-democracy stunt in July 2012.

The Jodel plane, which was built in 1968, was put up for an online auction on eBay at a starting price of $1. The price has risen to $51.5 by 5 p.m. today.

On July, 4 hundreds of teddy bears carried in a plane piloted by two Swedes parachuted down on the Belarusian capital of Minsk and the town of Ivianets early morning in a show of support for the country’s pro-democracy movement. Swedish advertising agency Studio Total took responsibility for the action pointing out that sometimes they also use the money they earn to promote issues they find important, like treating all people the same, or the right to free speech.

The Belarusian Ministry of Defense rebuted the information on the teddy bear troop drop. Top officials called the video released online “fabricated”.

At the same time, Per Cromwell, one of the founders of Studio Total, uploaded a full video version of their plane’s flight over Belarus. Beginning with installing a camera on the plane and ending with its landing at a Lithuanian aerodrome, the video proved that native air defense alert units did overlook the Swedish plane in the Belarusian air space.

Anton Surapin, the 20-year-old photographer, whose news web site first released pictures of teddy bears dropped by the Swedish pilots, was arrested and kept in the KGB predetention centre. Siarhei Basharymau who intended to rent a flat to Studio Total representatives was also detained on July 6. The journalist and the real estate agent were facing up to seven years of imprisonment for asserted aiding the Swedes in illegal border crossing, but in August 2012 the both were freed.

After the campaign President Lukashenka was furious: he fired some of his top generals, expelled the Swedish ambassador and finally ordered the KGB to “invite” the Swedish pilots to Belarus to talk it all through.

Belsat, following BelaPAN


See also