Want to rent Monica Bellucci for a night? Uzbekistan did.

This past April, the daughter of Uzbekistan’s president hired Italian supermodel Monica Bellucci to attend a gala for her new charity. The price: $300,000. “I suspect that the real goal of the event wasn’t to promote this joke of a charity,” writes neweurasia’s Musafirbek, “but to promote Uzbekistan as a happy, shiny country with happy, shiny people that is seeking happy, shiny development…”

Photograph of the Uzbekistan 2020 launch party by Flickr user UZ01.

Photograph of the Uzbekistan 2020 launch party by Flickr user UZ01.

The hot news on the Uznet involves another of Uzbekistan President’s daughters, Lola Karimova-Tillaeva, and a certain Italian supermodel.

It turns out that Lola hired Monica Bellucci to attend the gala for her new charity, “Uzbekistan 2020″, at Paris’s Museum of Modern Art on April 8, 2009.  Bellucci spent four hours at the event and even gave a short speech.  Can you guess how much she was paid as an honorarium?  Nearly $300,000!

Lola also invited several other celebrities, including both the brother of a current and wife of the French ex-President, actors Alain Delon and Emmanuelle Béart, and 69-year-old playboy Massimo Gargia. Their price of attendance has yet to be revealed.

God only knows the impact this will have on Uzbekistan’s budget…

The story was first broken by Bakchich.info, whose reporters also learned that Bellucci’s rental cost is apparently €190k per night (wow).  The international tabloid press has since been going gaga about the story, including Le Figaro, Le Telegramme, and Rue89.com, whose article has been visited by more than 55,000 peolpe and commented by 150.  RFE/RL has also run an appropriately titled article on the story while bloggers all over the world have also been sinking their teeth into this juicy story.

According to Wikipedia, the purpose of the new organization is supposedly to “promote cultural, intellectual, and human exchanges between Uzbekistan and Europe” and to fund projects in child protection, education, and sport.  However, I suspect that the real goal of the event wasn’t to promote this joke of a charity but to promote Uzbekistan as a happy, shiny country with happy, shiny people that is seeking happy, shiny development by the year 2020 (hence the name of the organization).

lola02

The press-release for the “Uzbekistan 2020″ gala describes Lola as “…[R]enowned in her home country for playing a major role in promoting the centuries-long heritage of Central Asia in Europe and launching key nationwide reforms to improve the situation in orphanages across the country.”  Renowned in her own mind would be more accurate.

The ego of this woman would make an ancient Roman blush.  If you want a good laugh check out her website where you can find an entire section devoted to, ahem, “The Woman”, with this photograph of her lounging imperiously beside all her superhuman humanitarian works.

I ask: what is charity for you, Lola? You spent a portion of our national budget on Monica Bellucci?!  That money could have been spent on the children you claim to care so much about — not on your celebrity friends!

Editor’s note: Check out Timur’s story on Islam Karimov’s other notorious daughter, Googoosha.

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