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To be donated to AIDS support projects
Life Ball MINI goes for € 24,550

Mario Testino and the LifeBall MINI 2007.

Mario Testino and the LifeBall MINI 2007.

13 June 2007.

After ten exciting days when the unique 2007 Life Ball MINI was up for auction at, the hammer came down on 10 June at exactly 8 p.m. Central European Time: the MINI Cooper designed exclusively by star photographer Mario Testino went for € 24,550 to its new owner in North Germany.

As has become traditional for the Life Ball MINI, the entire proceeds will be donated to AIDS support projects.

After its glamorous appearance at the 2007 Life Ball – Europe's biggest charity event – MINI lovers all over the world had ten days to bid for the exclusive, unique vehicle on

The highest bid on the auction ladder climbed up an amazing 96 times until a German MINI fan finally won the day.

The good cause to which the proceeds were being donated were important to the long-standing MINI fan – the new MINI owner has been driving a MINI for almost forty years: "Actually, I didn't really expect to get the Life Ball MINI, and I thought the idea behind it – helping the fight against AIDS through the Life Ball – was particularly admirable. I'm all the more delighted to have gained a truly unique item and also to have helped a good cause at the same time."

After fashion creators such as Donatella Versace and Gianfranco Ferré, this year, star and fashion photographer Mario Testino had the honour of tailoring a new outfit for the MINI Cooper provided by BMW Group Austria.

The fiery vehicle is decorated – in line with the Life Ball motto "Celebration of Life" – with firework explosions against a black night sky. In addition, the black MINI has been transformed into a unique vehicle with gold and glitter effects and Mario Testino badges.

The creator of this unique design comments: "For me, a firework is an expression of the joy of life, and I wanted, by choosing the theme of 'fireworks', to convey a positive message that is also expressed by all the work aimed at fighting AIDS: life is precious and it's worth fighting for.”

The Testino design also captivated the 40,000 people who came to Vienna's City Hall on the evening of the Life Ball to celebrate life and the Life Ball. The first official appearance of the Life Ball MINI 2007 by Mario Testino was also dazzling: driven by its designer, the dashing creation shared the hail of flashlights on the red carpet with international celebrities such as Sharon Stone and top model Nadja Auermann.

MINI was supporting the Life Ball for the seventh year in a row. A MINI specially designed for the Life Ball has been auctioned on eBay since 2002. The total proceeds from the auctions to date, which have been donated in full to the Life Ball charity, now total € 259,002.

For the MINI brand, the partnership with the Life Ball is an excellent opportunity to underline the firm's socio-political commitment. "We are pleased that, with our involvement with the Life Ball, we can make a major contribution to the fight against AIDS.

The sums of money that have been raised year after year through these auctions, most importantly, also reflect the extraordinary appeal, desirability and radiance of the MINI brand", says MINI brand manager Reinhard Pössel, describing the involvement of BMW Group Austria.

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