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Judge Prevents Cutting Down Anne Frank's Tree

The chestnut tree that gave Anne Frank hope as she lived in hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II has got a last-minute reprieve. A Dutch judge has ruled the tree, which was to be cut down Wednesday, will remain, as city officials try to come up with alternatives. Lauren Comiteau reports for VOA from Amsterdam.

It was a fight down to the wire, but in the end, the tree won. The chestnut tree made famous by Anne Frank in her wartime diary was scheduled to be axed. The ruling follows a protracted battle between the city, which claimed the tree was infested with a fungus and was in imminent danger of falling, and conservationists and neighbors, who argued the tree could be saved. After an emergency court hearing Tuesday, the judge sided with the tree.

The Judge said the tree did not pose an "acute danger" and ruled out what he called "extreme measures," such as cutting it down immediately. He said the city had not considered other solutions, and he asked all sides to sit down and come up with alternatives to cutting down the 150-year-old tree.

The city, which had the support of the Anne Frank museum, had planned to replace the tree with one of its cuttings.

Earlier Tuesday, a bidding war on E-bay for a single one of the tree's chestnuts resulted in an offer exceeding $10,000. It was being sold as the "last opportunity to get an original Anne Frank chestnut."