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Airplane used by Romanian dictator Ceausescu up for auction

(CNN) — The presidential plane of late Romanian communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu is going under the hammer.

The Rombac 1-11, which was used for the dictator’s official flights between 1986 and 1989, is to be put up for auction on May 27 with a starting price of €25,000 (around $30,000).

Built in Romania under license from the British Aircraft Corporation during the 1980s and modeled on the BAC 1-11, it’s “considered a jewel of the local aeronautical industry,” according to Artmark, the auction house responsible for the sale.

Aside from its link to Ceausescu, the 119-seat aircraft is one of just nine Rombac 1-11 models built under British license before 1989.

A second model, previously used by former president Ion Iliescu, another controversial Romanian figure, will go up for auction on the same day, with an identical starting price.

‘Utmost rarity’

Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s plane will go up for auction on May 27.

Courtesy Artmark

The Rombac 1-11, also known as Super One-Eleven, was the first commercial aircraft made in Romania, allowing the nation to become the first communist state after the Soviet Union to manufacture a passenger jet. Its Rolls-Royce Spey engines were manufactured under license at the local plants Aerofina and Turbomecanica.

Ceausescu was there to witness the aircraft’s first official flight, which took place back in 1982.

“Considering the utmost rarity of these models and the significance of the model for the technical history of Romania, the two planes were classified under the treasure category in the mobile national cultural heritage,” reads a statement from Artmark.
Rombac 1-11, or "Super One-Eleven," is brought to auction on May 27 for the starting price of only 25,000 euros.

The aircraft is “considered a jewel of the local aeronautical industry,” according to Artmark auction house.

Courtesy Artmark

“The sale is classified as a liquidation with the planes being put up for auction as part of the patrimonial liquidation of the former state enterprise Romavia.”

Their “treasure” status ultimately means that the aircraft cannot leave Romania and any future owners will be required to maintain them accordingly.

Ceausescu ruled Romania from 1965 until 1989, when a bloody anti-Communist revolution brought an end to his reign, as well as 42 years of communist rule. He was executed alongside his wife Elena in December 1989.

Iliescu, who rose to power after Ceausescu, was indicted for crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the violent uprising.

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