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"eBay" in support of UNHCR

"eBay" in support of UNHCR

1 July 2002

On the occasion of this year's World Refugee Day (WRD), UNHCR joined forces with eBay, the world's largest personal online trading community, to put up for auction exceptional items donated by celebrities. In line with this year's WRD theme of refugee women, many items for sale were donated by famous women as a mark of solidarity with those who have fled their homes for fear of persecution and who account for half of the world's 20 million refugees.

International eBay sites and local UNHCR offices in France, Germany, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, USA and the UK supported this activity spearheaded by the UNHCR Association in France. Actresses Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep and Angelina Jolie, actor Mike Farrell, sports star Martina Hingis, singers Barbara Hendrix and Nina Hagen, fashion designers Christian Lacroix and Sonia Rykiel, and writers Mouna Ayoub and Irene Frain were some of the famous names who offered their personal belongings for this auction, which was open for bidding from June 13-20, 2002.

The grand finale of the international eBay auction was a live event on World Refugee Day, June 20, held at the 'Espace Paul Ricard' in Paris, where invitation-only attendees gathered to bid against Internet users worldwide for the items. Proceedings were conducted by famed French auctioneer, Maitre Cornette de Saint Cyr.

In Spain, a special eBay auction was co-ordinated by UNHCR's association, España con ACNUR. The initiative was supported by 100 well-known Spanish personalities who agreed to create personal drawings or write short stories especially for refugee women. Contributors included famous painters like Antoni Tapies and Genovés, personalities like King Juan Carlos I and First Lady Ana Botella, and singers Miguel Bosé and Rosario. The drawings and handwritten poems were exhibited in a UNHCR tent during the Madrid Book Fair, attracting more than 3 million visitors in June 2002.

September 2002