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Swedes put teddy-bear dropping plane on eBay

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Swedes put teddy-bear dropping plane on eBay
11:59 CEST+02:00
A Swedish PR firm that dropped teddy bears over Belarus in pro-democracy stunt last year is now selling its plane, with the profits heading to "the fight for a free Belarus".

The plane on sale, a fully-functioning French Jodel from 1968, was used in July last year to illegally cross the border into Belarus to deploy hundreds of small parachuting teddy bears, which were holding signs demanding freedom of speech.

"We needed to sell it before the winter, because keeping it in a warmed hangar is really expensive," Tomas Mazetti from PR firm Studio Total told The Local.

He added that there had already been some interest in the plane before it was listed on eBay.

"There was a mad American who wanted to buy it if we flew it over the Atlantic... or if we took it apart (and thereby destroyed it)," he said. "We'd like to sell it in one piece. I mean, it's actually flyable, and beautifully so."

At the time of writing, the highest bid on the auction site is $11,100.

The team at Studio Total also penned an open letter to Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, inviting him to buy the plane himself.

"Dear Luke," the letter reads.

"Why not buy our plane yourself? You could lend it to your military. Let them train your billion dollar air defence in discovering small wooden planes! I'm sure they would find such a pass-time [sic] MUCH more honourable than (like now) being used by an ageing dictator to torture kids demanding freedom of speech."

July's teddy bear stunt made headlines worldwide, and resulted in the imprisonment of Belarus guards who were on duty at the time of the illegal border crossing.

Lukashenko, who initially denied the drop had ever happened, sacked his foreign minister a month after acknowledging the incident had occurred and stating that it had posed a safety concern for citizens of Belarus.

RELATED STORIES: See The Local's full coverage of the Minsk teddy bear drop

Oliver Gee

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