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Duke sells treasures for £32m to pay bill

ONE of the country's oldest aristocratic families has raised more than £32 million after auctioning off property to meet a large repair bill for damage caused by floods.

A long list of rare items owned by the Duke of Northumberland went under the hammer at Sotheby's in London. The Duke was left with a £12m bill when a culvert collapsed on his land, causing severe flood damage to a housing development. It forced many families to be moved from their homes, and a number of demolitions have taken place since.

Items sold included The Garden Of Eden And The Fall Of Man, painted by Jan Brueghel the Elder, for £6.8m. A Roman marble statue of Aphrodite sold for £9.3m, setting a new record for any classical sculpture sold at auction in Europe.

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