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Sale of guillotine divides France

Sale of guillotine divides France


AFP
PARIS
A 150-year-old guillotine with"a few dents on the blade"was sold in Paris on Wednesday despite protests from auction regulators.
The 10-foot (three-metre) tall instrument of execution which was used to dispatch criminals in France until 1977 was bought by a French millionaire for 8,008 euros ($9,400).
The Drouot auction house insisted that the model was built as a replica and has never been used to behead anyone, although it did once feature in a museum of torture in the French capital.
The sale of guillotines has been highly controversial in France where the death penalty was only abolished in 1981, with the French auction watchdog already objecting to the sale.
"They should not be selling this guillotine,"a spokesman told the Parisien newspaper."Objects like the clothes of people who were deported to the (Nazi death) camps and instruments of torture are sensitive."
That did not, however, stop another going for 220,000 euros in the same saleroom in 2011 when US pop star Lady Gaga was reportedly among the bidders. Nor did the watchdog have the power to stop the auction because the guillotine -- which previously graced a Paris jazz club -- is part of a bankruptcy sale.

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