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Canada buys back royal items wrongly sold

OTTAWA, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The Canadian government has spent $95,150 to buy back items belonging to British royalty it mistakenly auctioned off for almost $4,000 last summer.

The blunder was first reported by Sun Media in May, when the auction was announced on a Web site usually reserved for selling old office furniture. The historic antiques were at Rideau Hall, the official Ottawa residence of the queen's or king's representative, the governor-general.

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They included three sterling silver flower baskets that were wedding gifts to Queen Elizabeth II's grandparents. The government has since paid $50,000 to buy them back from a man who paid $532, Sun Media said.

Officials said the Department of Public Works refused to pay appraisers about $500 in the spring to go over the items that were being sold. The department has since spent triple that amount in the scramble to get the items back, the report said.

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