Holger Danske statue auction sabotaged by radio programme

Online bids for bronze icon skyrocket after satirical programme encourages viewers to make false bids to combat “overly-romantic nationalism”

Online auction site Lauritz.com was forced to cancel all bids in its auction for the statue of Holger Danske recently put up for sale by its owners, the Hotel Marienlyst, in Helsingør.

After the hosts of the 'Monte Carlo' programme on DR’s P3 radio channel launched what they called a “satirical campaign” by making a phony bid themselves and encouraging listeners to to do the same, offers for the statue shot up to over 40 million kroner. The statue's estimated value is 2.5 million kroner.

Lauritz called the incident “harassment and sabotage” in a press release, and said that DR has not responded to requests to address the issue.

“We have tried to contact them, including the legal department, but unfortunately DR does not see it as their responsibility if their journalists bid on items that they have no intention of buying,” Lauritz said in the release.

DR said its campaign was all in good fun and in keeping with the satirical nature of the Monte Carlo programme.

"Monte Carlo did not intend to sabotage the auction but rather to stick a pin into all of the overly-romantic nationalism that has popped up around the statue," Morten Hesseldahl, the editor responsible for the programme's content, told Politiken newspaper.

The price for the statue has been reset to the original starting bid of 1.7 million kroner and Lauritz is now only accepting telephone bids that can be validated.