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Thai Royal Trying to Stop London Auction

November 26, 1995

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ A Thai aristocrat has asked a British court to stop the auction next week of more than 400 letters written by members of Thailand’s royal family, Radio Thailand said Sunday.

The correspondence is part of a planned sale of autographed letters and manuscripts Wednesday at Christie’s in London.

The letters were written between 1866 and 1917 by King Chulalongkorn and two sons, Prince Chakrabongse and the future King Vajiravudh.

The court action was launched by Narisara Chakrabongse, the only granddaughter of Prince Chakrabongse. The official radio quoted her as saying the letters used to belong to her family but vanished after her father’s death.

If the letters are retrieved, Narisara said she would give copies to the government’s Fine Arts Department and turn the originals over to the state after her death.

The letters are said to deal with family matters, international politics, court intrigue and romance. Some are in English.

Chulalongkorn, also known as Rama V, is regarded as Thailand’s greatest 19th-century king _ a visionary who modernized the country and kept it free of foreign colonialism.

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