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Cemetery offers luxury graves at bargain prices to encourage restoration

The Local · 9 Aug 2010, 16:04

Published: 09 Aug 2010 16:04 GMT+02:00

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Henning Hammond-Norden, 71, is among the new participants in the scheme. The Groß Borstel resident adopted a burial plot that features a grand obelisk, according to daily Hamburger Morgenpost.

Another family used to own the site, but it has since been abandoned and Hammond-Norden paid just a fraction of its worth to be buried there.

"The restoration cost me about €4,000," the retired master stonemason and co-leader of the cemetery’s “circle of friends” told the paper. "One can’t find such a spot for less than €60,000."

The work he does is a contribution to protecting the famous cemetery, he said.

“And I find it nice to know where I will one day rest,” he added.

So far the Ohlsdorf cemetery – which claims to be the largest park-style burial facility in the world – has 50 such grave sites on offer for the new programme.

Whoever adopts a site must pay a transfer fee that starts at €1,300 for 25 years of ownership, in addition to conducting restoration of monuments on the site, after which the new “patron” earns the right to be buried there.

Sites include those with imposing angel statues and large family grave monuments.

Story continues below…

“Without the adoption the graves would be become derelict,” cemetery spokesperson Lutz Rehkopf told the paper, adding that this would be a shame.

At 391 hectares, the Ohlsdorf cemetery is Hamburg’s largest green space, containing more than 450 tree species, along with ponds and streams that are home to numerous water birds. Among the people buried there are prominent politicians, poets, actors, and musicians.

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Your comments about this article

16:49 August 9, 2010 by moistvelvet
It is pretty obvious why plots usually sell for around 60,000 euro, people are dying to get in!!!

''''''@ uhum... I'll get my coat>>>>
17:01 August 9, 2010 by Prufrock2010
If the plot doesn't have a view it can't be considered "luxury."
19:34 August 9, 2010 by vonSchwerin
What happens after 25 years? Do you they dig you up and re-sell the plot?

And what happened to the family that did own the spot? Did they bury people there years ago and fail to pay maintenance fees on the plot? And if so, what happens to the people buried there?

Can someone please explain this more clearly? Thanks.
09:12 August 10, 2010 by moistvelvet
I think the next occupants are just buried not quite so deep. As everyone knows the top bunk is always best, would the next occupant have to pay a higher fee for this penthouse plot?

But seriously, what a waste of money, wouldn't it be better spent on the living? Oh, well really I guess it is spent on the living, as what happens to our bodies after we die is really only for the benefit for those grieving.
12:24 August 10, 2010 by 9900lawre
The church has been stacking and re-selling plots for hundreds of years. Whats so different now?

It's building developers we need to protect against not grave re-developers.
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