Anne Frank tree granted reprieve

4th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

4 October 2007, THE HAGUE (AFP) - Amsterdam officials granted a reprieve on Wednesday to a condemned tree that was fondly described by Anne Frank in her diary about life in hiding under Nazi occupation.

4 October 2007

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Amsterdam officials granted a reprieve on Wednesday to a condemned tree that was fondly described by Anne Frank in her diary about life in hiding under Nazi occupation.

Although a licence to fell the diseased tree has already been granted, the Amsterdam municipality has now given opponents of the move until January to come up with a rescue plan, officials said.

"There is only one Anne Frank tree and the complaints commission of the municipality agreed that due to the unique character of the tree they would await possible rescue plans the opponents of the felling come up with," spokesman Ton Boon of the Amsterdam Centrum borough told AFP.

The huge horse chestnut, estimated to be more than 150 years old, has been in bad condition for years.

It sits in the garden of a canal house on Amsterdam's Keizersgracht that is overlooked by the annex the Frank family hid in, which has been turned into a museum.

"We both looked up to the blue sky, the horse chestnut whose bare branches glittered with droplets, the gulls and the other birds that seemed made of silver as they swooped by. All of this moved us so much that we could not speak," Anne Frank wrote in her diary on 23 February 1944.

The Amsterdam municipality granted the owner of the garden where the tree stands a licence to fell it in April.

The tree is besieged by fungi and experts have said it is too diseased to recover, but several people fighting to save the chestnut disagree.

All parties have now agreed to wait for the rescue plans. The current owner of the tree wants to cut it down because he is liable under Dutch law for any damage it will do when it is blown down, which is not an unlikely scenario as tests show 41 percent of the chestnut is rotten.

[Copyright AFP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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