German prince sues son for selling 135-room family castle to Govt for Rs 87

The total value of the disputed properties and items are estimated at some five million euros, the court said.

Prince Ernst August of Hanover has sued his son to win back control of a German castle and prevent it from falling into public hands, a court said Tuesday.

The 66-year-old gave his son the fairytale-like Marienburg castle and several other properties between 2004 and 2007, but now wants them back citing "gross ingratitude", the district court of Hanover said in a statement. According to a report by Daily Mail, Ernst August Junior sold his family's castle, worth millions of dollars, to the government for one euro or roughly Rs 87 in INR.

According to the court's statement, Ernst August filed a lawsuit at the end of last year seeking to revoke the gifts of Marienburg Castle, the Calenburg manor house and a royal property in Herrenhausen. He accuses his son, Ernst August junior, of acting against his wishes and going behind his back by offering Marienburg Castle to the state of Lower Saxony as public property.

The plaintiff, who lives in Austria, also accuses his son of improperly appropriating artworks and antiques owned by the family. Ernst August senior estimates the total value of the disputed properties and items at some five million euros, the court said.

Ernst August junior, 37, told German news agency DPA that the case had no merit, saying all the arguments raised "have already been invalidated out-of-court in the past". He said the deal struck to transfer ownership of Marienburg Castle to the regional authorities of Lower Saxony was "legally secure".

"There's nothing that stands in the way of the long-term preservation of Marienburg as a central cultural monument of Lower Saxony, open to all," he said. The court has not yet set a date for a hearing.

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