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Austrian hotelier in international border dispute

23 June 2006

A hotelier has cut a 10-inch strip off the roof of his hotel to put an end to an international border dispute.

Dietmar Hehenberger had initially been ordered to pull down a 15-suite extension to his Wellness hotel at Schoenegg in the north of Austria, after authorities told him the roof extended 27m into the Czech Republic.

Hehenberger blamed a faulty map for the mistake and, despite an offer from Czech authorities that he could just cut off the protruding part of his roof, initially refused to take action.

But facing the threat of an order to pull the entire extension down from the authorities, he held a public ceremony in front of hotel guests last weekend and sawed off the offending 10 inches of the hotel roof.

Hehenberger said: "This all happened because, In the course of digitalisation of maps, a kink in the border was ironed out. I was worried I might get another demolition demand, so I just thought it was better finally to go ahead and cut part of the roof off."

By Jim Glenn

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