Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Can we have our chairs back ?

One of its members has been forced to testify at a corruption trial and another rebuked for bullying journalists, and now Belgium's controversy-hit royal family is facing a new debacle over antique chairs.

Crown Prince Philippe, the heir to the throne, risks a court summons unless he returns a set of 19th-century furniture made for Napoleon, which he borrowed from a state collection to decorate his palace.

The regional government of Flanders has asked the federal government and the royal palace for three years to return several historic antique armchairs and tables, which were ordered by Napoleon for his palace in Antwerp in 1811.

"We can't wait forever," Geert Bourgeois, Flemish minister in charge of tourism and external relations, told Belgian television. "We are nice people and want to solve this amicably, but if needed we will take legal action."

Tom Bridts, director of Heritage Flanders, said the collection put together by Napoleon needed to be returned to the Antwerp palace to go on display. "It concerns tables, chairs, couches and even a bed used by Napoleon," he said. "The problem is that when you loan out something, you expect to get it back when you ask for it. We have asked for it back ... and so far we have not had an answer."


Dx said...

Crown Prince Philippe is a lucky guy. When I asked Betty Windsor if I could borrow some of her crown jewels for a night out with the wife, she didn't even reply. Talk about royal courtesy.

dom said...

Did you hear that Her Maj has now got an email address, I'd love to know it. If I find out , I'll pass it on , so Mrs Dx can Yahoo Messenger Her, to ask for a lend of a tiara.