The Austrian Foreign Minister, Karin Kneissl, in an interview published on Sunday evening on the Kommersant newspaper's website, announced that the Volkswagen Beetle car signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at her wedding was donated to charity.
“The Volkswagen Beetle retro car from our wedding was sold during the annual Light and Dark auction (charity telethon Micht ins Dunkel) at the end of the year," she said. "It did not belong to us, we arranged it for our wedding, and on the day of the wedding informed the guests that we would like to auction it for charity”.
According to Kneissl, money collected during this project were transferred to the hippotherapy rehabilitation center for children with disabilities, located in the city of Schwechat (federal land of Lower Austria). “These children regain self-confidence thanks to the activities with horses and other animals. Later I would like to visit this place myself,” said the minister.
The head of the Austrian Foreign Ministry stressed that she immediately understood that the participation of the Russian leader in the ceremony would attract journalists’ attention. “When I found out that he agreed, it was clear to me that this would resonate in the media, but Vladimir Putin, with his characteristic charm, happily shared a wedding celebration with us,” said Kneissl.
On August 18, 2018, Vladimir Putin attended the wedding ceremony of Karin Knessl and financier Wolfgang Meilinger in the Austrian state of Styria. The President of the Russian Federation presented newlyweds with a painting, an antique oil presser, a Tula samovar and brought with him a Kuban Cossack choir for entertainment. In addition, the Russian leader, along with other guests, left an autograph for the newlyweds on a white Volkswagen Beetle convertible.