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Contents of Danish Castle Go On The Auction Block

February 27, 1996

LONDON (AP) _ Europeans are heading to the beach instead of old country estates, the owner of a Danish castle said Tuesday as he explained why he was selling the contents of his ancestral home.

John Raben-Levetzau has already sold 600-year-old Aalholm Castle near Nysted, 80 miles southwest of Copenhagen, and will auction its contents May 20-23 on the castle grounds.

The contents are expected to bring more than $2 million, according to auctioneer Sotheby’s, which is handling the sale. The most valuable item in the auction is a French-made 1752 silver soup tureen, valued at $308,000.

International buyers are expected to bid for antique silver and furniture, but most of the contents _ including paintings, ceramics, glass, textiles and arms and armor _ are expected to be bought by Danes, said Marcus Linell, a Sotheby’s director.

Raben-Levetzau said a dip in tourism and financial problems after the 1992 death of his father led to the ``difficult decision to sell the castle and its contents.″

The castle, the family home since 1725, had been a tourist attraction.

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